Another non-news day got me to pondering – even without including Alex Bregman, could Houston still have what it takes to pry Teheran away (if Coppy were persuaded to consider moving him)? Could we still match up with them for a potential blockbuster?
Without any free-agent signings the Astros still look pretty loaded offensively going forward, but with the step back that Dallas Keuchel took this year and the ever-present questions surrounding Lance McCullers’ health, they could REALLY use someone like Teheran if they want to make a serious push. Their lineup is also awfully right-handed.
So here’s a “Would you?” for a postseason travel day…
Teheran and Mallex Smith for Kyle Tucker, Derek Fisher, and David Paulino.
Paulino has true “Ace” stuff, and is all but ready. Tucker could be ready to step in for Nick Markakis when his deal is up (and be the Braves’ RF for a long time), and Fisher would make a great platoon partner for Dustin Peterson in LF if/when Matt Kemp were moved.
Looking at the players that would be coming the Braves’ way in this proposed swap…
David Paulino, RHSP, 22 years old – ETA: Late 2017
There’s no denying Paulino’s upside as a potential top of the rotation SP. At 6’7″ and 215 lbs., he’s an imposing presence in the center of the diamond. Paulino has a 60-grade fastball that sits between 93-95 mph with a plus curveball (also grading out at 60 on the 20-80 scouting scale) and a developing changeup. Ranked #70 0verall by MLB Pipeline, the questions surrounding the Tommy John survivor seem to be more about makeup than talent. He made one not-so-impressive start for Houston last season, but over his 90 IP (three levels) with Astros’ affiliates he posted a 2.00 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, .214 BAA, 106/19 K/BB Ratio, and only allowed 4 HRs.
Kyle Tucker, RF, 19 years old – ETA: Early 2019
Tucker was the #5 overall pick in the 2015 draft from Plant HS in Tampa. With room to grow into his 6’4″, 190 lb . frame, it’s easy to dream on him turning into a consistent 20/20 threat at the MLB level. In his first taste of full-season ball this year, MLB Pipeline’s #49 overall prospect posted a .285/.360/.438 slash with 25 2Bs, 7 3Bs, 9 HRs, 32 SBs and a 50/81 BB/K Ratio. Certainly a candidate to be fast-tracked if he gets off to a hot start next spring, Kyle could conceivably be ready to contribute even before Markakis’ contract expires.
Derek Fisher, LF, 23 years old – ETA: Late 2017
The #37 pick in the 2014 draft out of UVA is also all-but-ready after slashing .255/.367/.448 in 2016. There’s some swing-and-miss in his game (154 Ks in 478 ABs), but his power-speed combination (21 HRs, 28 SBs) could provide a great compliment to Peterson soon. Platooning the two of them could provide a formidable twosome in LF in place of Kemp.
Yes, making a deal like this would be in essence “punting” one more season in 2017 – but doing so would SERIOUSLY top off the Braves’ rebuild with a high pick in this summer’s draft plus another potential Top 5-10 pick when homegrown super-prospect Seth Beer is eligible to be drafted the following summer. Not only would Atlanta have the deepest farm system in the game, it would arguably become the most-talented as well – and the organization would be in a position financially to make a run at any of the biggest names available in the already famous free-agent class following 2018.
I’ve never been a fan of trading Teheran, but looking at a 2019 Braves’ roster that included…
CF- Ender Inciarte, SS- Dansby Swanson, 1B- Freddie Freeman, 3B- Manny Machado, RF- Kyle Tucker, LF- Fisher/Peterson, C- ???, 2B- Ozzie Albies
Rotation – Kolby Allard, Mike Foltynewicz, Sean Newcomb, David Paulino, Max Fried
just kinda makes your mouth water, doesn’t it???