Tag Archives: Paco Rodriguez

Could The Braves Be Competitive In 2017 And 2018 WITHOUT Giving Up Core Pieces?

Just doing a little daydreaming on the eve of Hot Stove season, and expanding on some minor moves suggested by the guys on XM’s Inside Pitch (Casey Stern and Brad Lidge) this afternoon. After they both pushed the long-rumored trade for Brian McCann, they went on to say that they thought signing Justin Turner would be a great move (even though he was given a Qualifying Offer by the Dodgers today). After pondering the fact that the Braves’ first round pick next summer is protected and dreaming on how much those moves would further improve Atlanta’s offense, I can’t say that I’d disagree.

Of course if John Coppolella & Company would consider giving up a draft pick and something of value to add that kind of offense, you have to imagine that they’d go even further and try to put a truly competitive team on the field to open Suntrust Park next spring, so they’d have to go even further – but could that be done without mortgaging the future???

I think it could, and here’s how…

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Braves’ Organizational Depth Chart – Pre-Trade Deadline 2016

 

Here’s a quick look at where the organization stands prior to what could be a busy week during the rebuild. Even if the Braves aren’t particularly active on the trade market, we could be getting closer to some veterans being released to provide opportunities for some of the youngsters to get their feet wet at the MLB level with an eye towards Opening Day 2017 at SunTrust Park. This is not a reflection of our Midseason Top 30 Prospects which will be unveiled following the deadline.

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Don’t Get In Too Big A Hurry

This time of year, it’s pretty common to hear pundits and fans discussing the fact that MLB teams look to maximize their investments by trading assets at their “peak value”. While that’s typically a good business approach, you have to be extremely careful when investigating the market to find out just what that is.

Here’s a quick economics lesson to illustrate why the Braves shouldn’t trade the young pitching they’ve acquired unless it’s for a serious return that they believe will help the organization over the long-haul. Most of the notable arms they’ve stockpiled over the last 2 years haven’t come remotely close to reaching that peak value (for various reasons) and include…

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Could Trading Shelby Miller Actually Make The Braves Competitive Quicker?

The games have begun, and we now wait to see who blinks first. Several confirmed reports say the Braves and Cubs had been talking about a trade centered around Shelby Miller and Jorge Soler (before the announcement that Chicago had agreed to a 2 year/$32 million deal with John Lackey last night), and Jerry Crasnick has reported that the Braves may just hold onto Miller for now to see what happens as the market unfolds. We’ve seen this time and time again – teams seem to line up pretty well, but one or the other pulls back for a little bit to see if they can squeeze just a little bit more value for their guy since the other team needs him more. Many of the “experts” felt that Jorge Soler alone probably wasn’t quite enough alone to merit trading Miller from the Braves’ perspective (and I have to agree with them – of course I’m also a Braves fan) – Atlanta controls Miller for three more seasons, and interest in him has never been higher – but also needs controllable impact bats to help complete their rebuild. Soler definitely fits that profile, but also comes with question marks as well – specifically a high (25+%) K-Rate and marginal defensive value. That said, there’s another powerful right-handed power bat out there (who’s widely speculated to be “unavailable” – as if there was such a thing) who just so happens to belong to a team desperately looking to add to its rotation but really only shopping for 0-3 SPs. That player of course is Aaron Judge, and his team is the New York Yankees.

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Santa, Are You Listening???

So here we are on the last Saturday of November, recovered (or recovering) from our turkey comas and hoping we can find SOME way to eventually pay off the credit card bills that we (and/or our significant others) ran up Thursday evening and yesterday on Black Friday (while also still trying to figure out what the name for Thursday’s portion of that will be referred to as one day). Like millions of folks this time of year, I began compiling my Christmas wish list yesterday. I only made it to number one before my head began to spin as much as my stomach after jotting down the same item that always seems to top the list – another Braves’ Championship. Taking the afternoon off may or may not have been such a good idea since it gave me time to think about how to make that wish come true, sooner rather than later – and WITHOUT compromising the organization’s rebuilding/reloading/restocking process.

When taking into account the most recent rumors making the rounds as well as trying to line things up with the organization’s stated goal of becoming competitive again by the time 2017 rolls around, it’s tough to see that happening without another drastic trade or two given the current group of players available via free-agency and the one presumably available next winter. Braves’ Chairman Terry McGuirk has been recently quoted as saying that payroll will increase substantially beginning in January of 2017, but unless several prospects’ timelines move up quite a bit (threatening to hurt their development), there will still be holes that can’t be filled simply by “buying” players. So…

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Everybody Loves A “Blockbuster”

So the Cubs are currently doing background work on a handful of Pitchers to add to their rotation, presumably including Shelby Miller and Julio Teheran. They’ve also been linked to the “Aces” at the top of the market (David Price and Zack Greinke), as well as free-agents on the next tier (Jeff Samardzija and John Lackey) in an effort to build enough pitching depth to get them by the teams in their division and the pitching-rich Mets for the next several years while they have their young offensive stars under control cheaply and trying to finally end the most well-known stretch of futility in professional sports. Theo and Jed don’t strike ANYONE as a front office tandem that will act out of any feeling of desperation now that they’ve overseen Chicago’s return to relevance, but do want to be the ones to finally give Cubs fans at least ONE Championship.

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The Case For Yoenis Cespedes

Another great pitching matchup, another brutal loss added to Shelby Miller’s resume – Miller wasn’t as sharp as he’s been at times during what should be deemed his breakout season, but he was once again much better than the results will reflect after Andrelton Simmons (of all unexpected people) put him behind the 8 ball with a couple boots last night. I really do think it’s time to shut him down in an effort to try to preserve some semblance of sanity following what has to rank up there with the unluckiest seasons for a SP of all time, but that’s not why we’re here today.

This column is another in our series looking to consider directions John Hart & Company could go this winter as they begin to step on the gas and return the big club to relevance by the time SunTrust Park opens in 2017. Even with the great strides they’ve taken to revamp the minor league system, the rebuild won’t be truly “complete” until they make the team a contender again. There are always several ways to do that, but to this point we’ve been investigating the trade route to do so and hopefully lessen the chance that the organization picks the wrong guy and is hamstrung by another B. J./Melvin Upton-like BAD free-agent contract. Of course we also all know that throwing money at someone to fill a position of need is also the best route to keep all the potential future valuable pieces they’ve stockpiled thus far, so we’re going to see what doing exactly that might look like this week.

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