December 8 Player Moves in Braves History

With thanks to’s Today in Baseball History:

1928: Cardinals sell 37-year old shortstop Rabbit Maranville back to the Braves. The future Hall of Famer (in fairness, he’s often considered one of the worst players in the Hall) was a Brave for the first nine seasons of his career, and played six more for the Braves after the sale.

1977: An absolutely massive four-team deal. I’ll just go ahead and quote from b-ref: “[Willie Montañez was] Traded as part of a 4-team trade by the Atlanta Braves to the New York Mets. The Texas Rangers sent Tommy Boggs, Adrian Devine and Eddie Miller to the Atlanta Braves. The Texas Rangers sent a player to be named later and Tom Grieve to the New York Mets. The Texas Rangers sent Bert Blyleven to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pittsburgh Pirates sent Nelson Norman and Al Oliver to the Texas Rangers. The New York Mets sent Jon Matlack to the Texas Rangers. The New York Mets sent John Milner to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Texas Rangers sent Ken Henderson (March 15, 1978) to the New York Mets to complete the trade.”

1987: Braves trade Rafael Ramirez to the Astros for minor leaguer RHP Mike Stoker and IF Ed Whited. Stoker never made it out of A-ball, and Whited hit .162 in 36 games in 1989, the only year he made it to the majors.

2001: Braves sign Vinny Castilla to a two-year contract. As a result of the trade, 29-year old All-Star third baseman Chipper Jones moves to left field, where he would remain until 2004. (Martin Prado was by no means the first All-Star infielder that the Braves shifted to left.)

2005: Braves trade Andy Marte to Red Sox for Edgar Renteria and cash. There was gnashing of teeth about this deal around here. I’ll just quote Mac:

Good God. This is a special prospect. His floor is Matt Williams. His ceiling is the Hall of Fame. I mean, he probably won’t make the Hall, but it’s a possibility. The Braves just got fleeced. If Marte’s stock wasn’t as high as we thought, they should have just hung onto him and traded two guys to get Renteria or Lugo.

In two years in Atlanta, Renteria made the All-Star team, hit .310/.374/.451, was worth 7.9 rWAR (8.4 fWAR), and was then traded for Jair Jurrjens, who was worth 10 WAR to the Braves. Marte is one of the biggest prospect busts of the past two decades and was worth negative WAR in his career.

So… you never know. Hold tight and hope for the best. It just might work out.

72 thoughts on “December 8 Player Moves in Braves History”

  1. The Ramirez trade also served to open the door for Andres Thomas, who then proved to be the second worst player ever to spend his entire career in the National League, trailing only the wonderful Bill Bergen.

  2. Regrading Andrew. He’d probably be a lock for the HOF if he hadn’t gotten so damn fat. If he had been able to play top level defense for a few more years I think his candidacy is a lot more compelling.

  3. It’s really a shame. Andruw’s problem is exactly the same as Dale Murphy’s problem. They indisputably had a Hall of Fame peak. But they didn’t have enough fine-to-good seasons after their peak ended. I think there’s room in the Hall for both, but voters don’t like guys whose careers ended that early unless there are extenuating circumstances, like Kirby Puckett’s glaucoma.

  4. Also, Mac was being overly dramatic when he said that Marte’s “floor is Matt Williams.” He was much more nuanced a few months earlier, when he wrote:

    So what we have in the making is a slugging third baseman with a good glove. Mathews and Schmidt represent the best of this class; other retired members would be Darrell Evans, Graig Nettles, Gary Gaetti, Ron Santo, etc. What will eventually decide how good a major leaguer Marte becomes is his walk rate. He’s got a pretty good one in the minors so far, but it’s not outstanding, and there’s been a tendency for Braves prospects to lose some of their walks when they reach the majors. (Rafael Furcal is probably the most spectacular example, but also Marcus Giles, Andruw Jones among the top players; Adam LaRoche and Nick Green have suffered similar fates this year.)

    If Marte comes up and loses 30-40 percent of his walks, I wouldn’t like his future so much anymore. The players who have had really long careers at third base have tended to draw lots of walks. A player I might compare him to — and I think represents his most likely career path — is Matt Williams.

  5. I remember the quote about Marte’s floor being Matt Williams, and thinking more likely that Marte’s ceiling was Matt Williams.

    Williams hit .188, .205, and .202 his first 3 Major League seasons. If not for the Giants patience, he would have been Andy Marte. I’ve often wondered how many outstanding careers have never been because of a lack of patience.

    Not necassarily saying that Marte’s would have been one of them.

  6. Yeah. I remember being dumfounded by that move as well. Marte was the consensus #1 prospect in baseball. (This was just when I had started following prospects, so I put a whole lot of faith in this.) And all that got back was an aging Renteria coming off a bad season?

    Maybe it should’ve been a sign that Marte was overrated when the Red Sox promptly flipped him to the Indians, but I remember being almost equally peeved that the Red Sox got (I think) Coco Crisp for him, who was “way better” than Renteria!

    ‘Course, Renteria bounced back in a big way and bridged the gap between Furcal and Escobar quite nicely. All in all, the trade worked out splendidly. Kind of the anti-Teixeira deal.

  7. You may not get hit crossing under the “don’t walk” sign, but that doesn’t make it a good idea. Of course, we are all glad it worked out.

  8. I’ve gotten a lot of things wrong, but one thing I got right was the Marte bust. I got laughed at on here for saying that he had a lazy batting stance/swing. Of course, my being right on that and $1.00 will buy a Coke.

  9. Young to Phillies confirmed. Not sure what the over / under is on when I stop laughing…

  10. I could see young having a bit of a bounceback year with an OPS+ noth of 100. He’ll be better than Polanco with the bat, but liable to give it all back with the glove.

  11. The Phillies are so old. The wheels might fall off that bus before end of spring training.

  12. Wow, never thought Greinke would NOT join the Rangers, but I guess pitching in NL and Dodgers Stadium are quite attractive propositions.

  13. Amazing Greinke is getting that kind of cash and wont even be the best starter on the Dodgers staff. How much would Kershaw demand on the FA market.

    Jeff Passan ‏@JeffPassan
    Dodgers currently have $210,130,953 in commitments for players on their roster today. The Astros have $800,000.

  14. Salary cap, anyone?

    Wouldn’t have minded a Francisco / Michael Young platoon at 3B.

    There’s got to be more to the Tuberville-to-Cincy story than is being reported.

  15. The Players’ Union would never allow it. With a salary cap, no team would pay Greinke 24.5 million a year.

  16. There was a de facto salary cap in the reserve clause days. Does anybody really think that was a better way to do things?

  17. Falcons haven’t been showing up for weeks. I’ve got zero confidence that they are going to change their playoff problems this year.

    I’m not going to lie, I’m enjoying watching Cam play today.

  18. It was only a matter of time before Falcons got blown out by a bad team. They’ve been pretty damn bad for the past 2 months, but have managed to squeak out some wins anyway. Not today.

  19. So 7.2M for Young. Not what I would call great, but should be okay for this assuming he can still swing it a bit.

  20. What exactly is Young supposed to bring to the Phils?

    (How does a crap 5 win team talk shit about winning against a defense resting it’s starters?)

  21. Does anyone have a list of members of the HOF who finished their career in Japan? Or Mexico for that matter.

    I’m getting the feeling that left field is not going to be settled in a way that will excite the masses.

  22. So Julio Teheran threw another six innings for Licey today. One hit. No walks. Eight Ks. Licey fans on Twitter sound like they’ve seen the second coming.

  23. Fastball was sitting at 94 and throwing his new curveball for strikes. After the game he was asked about whether this time this was really his last start (he announced he was headed home to Columbia after his last start) and he said he wants to stay and keep pitching but that everything depends on Frank.

  24. Can’t read too much into winter league stats, but Teheran’s recent run is encouraging. Braves brass was in attendance today, as well.

  25. Bowman on Twitter said about a week ago that the Braves want Teheran over Delgado for the fifth starter slot.

  26. Julio Teheran was born in 1991. He has made 4 major league starts. Pretty unbelievable to be fed up with him already.

  27. Not saying I care about the results per se. But I do care that he’s throwing his fastball in the mid 90’s again, and that he was willing to take his lumps and learn a third pitch.

  28. Poor Royals fans. I will now start a weekly reminder that we should be grateful Dayton Moore is not our GM.

    And yes , it’s pretty silly to be fed up with Teheran already. But I can’t say I’m surprised.

  29. With the club options, he has 6 years of control between Shields and Davis. At least there’s that.

  30. Holy crapola. For certain teams this wouldn’t be a terrible trade. But for the Royals to do this is unconscionable.

  31. And Mike Montgomery! I just got up from my knees as I was thanking God I’m not a Royals fan. Holy moly…

  32. Royals fans are obviously furious at Moore, but it is amusing how much abuse Frenchy is also getting. Everyone is pointing out that just benching Frenchy for Myers is likely worth as many wins as Shields over replacement level.

  33. Can you imagine if we traded Jason Heyward, Julio Teheran and Mike Minor for, like, Matt Garza?

  34. I bet the Rays keep Myers down until June for arb purposes but even so there is a good chance that by the All-Star break Frenchy will the most hated player in the history of the Kansas City Royals.

  35. That trade is…. Wow. I thought it was a reasonable deal before I saw the minor league pitchers were going as well. Davis is fine and could be a useful rotation piece, but he’s not a top end guy. James has limited control remaining and while below-market isn’t dirt cheap. I can only imagine that there’s a lot of pressure to win next year for Moore, and they have one of the better rotations in their division now. You just wonder what things will be like for them in 2015.

  36. Wil Myers is an awesome minor league hitter. He shouldn’t be seen as untouchable. It’s not necessarily completely absurd to want to sell high on one of the best prospects in baseball. But you gotta get a number one starter, and James Shields has never been that, despite the awesome nickname and his nice but fluky 2011.

    You can pretty much ignore the other stuff. Jake Odorizzi is probably a slightly better prospect than Wade Davis. Mike Montgomery was a terrific prospect a year or so ago, but now he’s at the nadir of his value; he’s a lottery ticket throw-in. And whoever the Rays PTBNL is, it’s hard to imagine he will be better than Royals 3B prospect Patrick Leonard.

    Wil Myers probably won’t turn into Ryan Braun — almost no one does, even the ones who destroy the minor leagues. But even if he turns into Matt Lawton, the Rays are going to win this trade, because they will get six years of a likely above-average player at very low salary while the Royals will get two years of an over-30 pitcher who is already making decent money.

    It’s like Dayton Moore started thinking about the Teixeira trade and was jealous that he didn’t have one of those on his resume.

  37. Myers is a bit low on walks… But he looks like the real deal. He may not be Ryan Braun, but on Day 1, he’s going to be better than, say, Cory Hart. Or Jeff Francoeur. Or whoever we send out to left field next year.

  38. See, from my perspective, Davis, Montgomery, and Odorizzi are as important to this trade as Shields is. Shields is two and done, for $21M total. If Davis turns into a #3 for the duration of his deal, it looks a lot better. Almost as good if he’s a shut-down reliever. The opposite is true fro Montgomery and Odorizzi, both of whom were at one point considered 4 or 5 star prospects. So I’m just saying, the upside is there in terms of the arms Tampa’s getting back.

    I disagree that a #1 should’ve been the required cost for Myers, since there are like 10 of those in MLB, and you’d probably need two Wil Myers to get one in a trade. But what they got was a guy who’s been anything from a 4 to a 2 over the past 4 seasons, and isn’t exactly cheap. If Davis is good for them, I think it could be a fine deal, but otherwise I’m not convinced.

  39. Davis isn’t going to be a #3 starter. He’s built for the pen. Also, selling low on Montgomery, while NOT getting proper value for Myers, is awful. Royals are probably the 7th best team in the AL now… maybe.

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