Braves Trade Ideas: Less Prospects, Bigger Bags of $

Yesterday, I scoured the fence-straddling teams for players that they might consider parting ways with in a “you help me, I help you” type of trade. Today, I’ll take a look at one of those teams and grab 2 guys that I think could really help out the Braves this year, and one, for next.

Matching up with the Arizona Diamondbacks

The Arizona Diamondbacks are sitting at a cool 51-50 right now. That puts them a miniscule 2 games back from the 2nd Wild Card. However, there are 4 teams that are ahead of them: Nationals, Cardinals, Phillies, and Brewers. If the Diamondbacks are being real with themselves, they’ll come to the conclusion that it’s very unlikely to happen this year and they’ll look to keep most of their core together while adding to that core for the next run.

Should this happen, it could open the door for the Braves to pounce on 2 targets that would aid in their quest for a World Series run.

Target 1, Zack Greinke:

Greinke is doing what every pitcher that wants to keep a job in the big leagues should do, and that is to adapt without dependency on velocity. At 35 years old, Greinke’s 3 year sample is every bit as good as almost every 3 year sample in his career and he’s doing it with a fastball that clocks in below 90 on a regular. That’s awesome, but what’s not awesome is the amount of money Greinke is owed. And as quirky as Greinke can be, his money distribution is equally quirky. Here’s a breakdown from Braves Option Guy:

The idea to make this happen: Have Diamondbacks pay ½ of the deferred salary, which would bring down the total financial cost to ~85MM for 2.3 years. Assuming the Diamondbacks would want value for value and would project his future value to be similar to his current value, 2.3 years of Greinke is worth about 92 million dollars. That’s only a 7 million dollar surplus in value, but there’s no chance that the Diamondbacks would look at it that way. I think they’re going to want to get paid in prospects to equal that of the money they’re paying down, which is ~31 million. Add that to the cost and the Diamondbacks are going to be looking at getting 40, maybe 50 million in surplus value to deal Greinke.

Target 2, Greg Holland:

After an abysmal run with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2018, Holland has rebounded to become an above average reliever again. While he might not move the needle as much as other targets, he can be firmly placed in the back side of the bullpen for the stretch. Considering his financial cost is ~1.5 million for the rest of the season and his value is, give or take, 5 million, it’ll cost more than a 3.5 million dollar value in return. My guess would be ~10 million which equates to a budding 40-45 FV prospect.

Total prospect cost: 50-60MM

The Trade:

Braves get Zack Greinke and Greg Holland

Diamondbacks get Drew Waters, Adam Duvall, and Mike Foltynewicz

Breakdown: I don’t think Braves are getting Greinke without Waters or Pache, and for me, Waters is the one to go and Pache becomes the CFer in May of 2020. Both guys carry serious value, but allowing Ronald Acuna Jr to slide back to one of the corner OF positions greatly increases the team’s defense. Folty and Duvall are throw-ins (and, admittedly, sell-lows) in this scenario but it takes giving to get.

What’s your package for Greinke and Holland? Let’s hear your thoughts?

Long live Braves Journal!

Author: Ryan Cothran

Ryan is the site editor and manager of Braves Journal. Follow him on Twitter.

81 thoughts on “Braves Trade Ideas: Less Prospects, Bigger Bags of $”

  1. While I hate to lose my dude Adam Duvall, I think this package is pretty good. I wonder if Braves could entice them to include a little more $ for 2020-2021 by including any of the following: Allard, Muller, Wilson, Weigel, or Beck.

  2. I love me some Greinke, but I find it hard to part with Fotly in this deal. I know he’s a shell of last year’s Folty, but Folty had 3.8 WAR to Greinke’s 2.9 WAR just last year.

    One plus about including Folty is you move some money off the books, but I think the same deal with Allard or Wentz instead of Folty and AZ picking up $10 mill per year of deferred $ works.

    On deferred $, who is on the hook, the acquiring team? Even if some of the money was deferred from past seasons? Seems like the team that got the use of those seasons would pay, but I may be crazy.

  3. The future obligations are indeed tied to the current holder of the contract. Without the deferred money Greinke has significant surplus value and would cost a lot more in prospects. Getting him is what financial flexibility looks like.

  4. Zack Greinke
    Needs no homer hanky
    And vows to only throw ground balls
    Unless facing Adam Duvall(s)

  5. More on the deferred salary. $10 mill was deferred from each year from 16-18, $10.5 mill from 19 and $11 mill from 20-21. I’m not sure how it normally works, but I assume the standard thing would be for AZ to pay the portion of the deferral earned from 2016 through 2/3 of 2019 (So they should already be on the hook for $37 million). I would think any additional salary relief would have to be on top of that as a rule.

    Also, not sure how the signing bonus plays out in trades. Just because Az deferred the actual payment of the bonus, I’m not sure the payments automatically move with the contract. They could’ve just as easily paid it all out at signing and it wouldn’t be part of any future trades.

  6. I’d also like to say, I think Braves State Media is starting the spin of “The Braves Only Need a Reliever”

    I think we are going to only make a small move, if any.

  7. 7-I actually agree with you, and I may be okay with that. If we aren’t getting Castillo, Bauer or Greinke I’d almost rather not deal unless the cost is lower than I think it will be for Boyd, Stroman, Minor, MadBum etc.

  8. Someone yesterday was discussing McCann vs Flowers on game calling.

    Through yesterday McCann has a “Catchers ERA” of 3.78 and Flowers is at 4.71. Also Flowers has 11 passed balls in 46 games to McCann’s 5 in 51. Flowers is a bit more adept at holding runners as he has caught 7-23 men stealing to 4-32 for McCann. Finally, Atlanta is 32-19 when McCann starts, 25-21 when Flowers does and 3-0 for Alex Jackson.

  9. Good deal, RyanC, though the piece I would rather not include is Waters; but he’s a better give than Pache I suppose. I also agree with Dusty. Get a stud or don’t trade our better kids.

  10. @7

    That happened very quickly, too. Like the second Gausman wasn’t a disaster the other day, it was like somebody flipped a switch and now they’re all talking like we don’t need a starter.

  11. @11

    I expect we will hear some “Gausman Silencing His Critics in Bullpen Session” in the next few days.

    “His fastball seems to have more life,” said Snitker.

    “The way he’s popping the mitt, it’s strong” said McCann

    DOB on Twitter: What?!?! You dare challenge World Series Champion Brian McCann’s judgment?!?!

  12. @coop
    I’d rather not deal Waters either but got to believe that will be the cost. I guess you could sub out Waters and add Ian Anderson.

  13. FG now suggesting Ian Kennedy for the Braves. In fact Kennedy and cash for Muller. Don’t think I’d go there myself.

  14. I would not trade any position player prospects until we have traded down from our 40-man pitchers. Don’t care who the target is.

    Why do we want to give AZ that much extra value? Seems to me AA has made it pretty clear he won’t trade unless he receives value.

    I like the idea of trading for Greinke but considering the monetary cost, there’s no way to justify a big overpay in prospect capital.

    Also, just to play devil’s advocate, what makes Greinke different than Julio? The only difference I see is walks. Just like in Julio’s last performance, if he doesn’t walk anyone, he’s every bit as good as Greinke. Of course, Greinke does pitch slower than Julio.

  15. Greinke’s going to be a HoFer and he’s still putting up HoF numbers at 35. I cannot believe that you actually feel that way, Roger.

    Search your feelings.

  16. An even value exchange would be Johan Camargo and Touki Toussaint for Zack Greinke, Greg Holland, David Peralta and $72 Million cash. This trade gives two MLB players that can help the Snakes this year. Peralta is injured and will not help in 2019. The Braves should add Luiz Gohara to the deal who also can not help in 2019, but is a plus to the deal if can come back – similar risk and value to Peralta. The $72 Million covers the deferred salary and bonuses for Greinke for which Arizona has already received value. Willing to include Ender Inciarte for Gohara if Diamondbacks prefer.

  17. I have more confidence in Greinke than any other starter who is potentially available. The finances make it complicated, but that’s what financial flexibility is for.

  18. As I’ve said before, I have a lot of respect for Markakis, but I would not start him against lefties.

  19. I’ve learned not to look at my mlb app when I’m watching fox sports south. The delay can be as much as five minutes.

  20. Austin’s in a funk, but Tyler’s wearing a fork. No hit, no field,but oh! can Flowers frame a pitch, if he bothers to catch it.

  21. Dallas is giving off some “I’m gassed” body language, which happened his last start. Wonder why it seems to be affecting him more lately than it did in those starts in the middle of his Braves tenure?

  22. Duffy is making our lefties look completely out of sorts. Except Dallas, of course.

  23. I don’t care for this deal in even the slightest way. Waters should be borderline untouchable.

  24. Do we really need to give up an elite prospect in AA or higher for a starter?

    If one of Gausman, Fried, or Folty emerged as a legit TOR-type pitcher by the end of the season, meaning a sub-3 ERA, pitching deep into ballgames, consistent, the whole thing, would you be comfortable with going into a playoff series with Keuchel, Soroka, and one of those 3 as your first 3 starters? Then if you needed a 4th starter, you could consider starting Keuchel on short rest, Teheran, or the second-best of those other three.

    I’m really done with the pitchers who have not demonstrated 2019 success at the major league level like Wilson, Touki, and Wright. We’re over 100 games in now, and I’d probably say, at best, you have another 20 games where you can try out prospects. I would continue to cycle arms like Weigel, Ynoa, Dayton, Sobotka, Parsons, etc. throughout the back end of the pen to see if someone can work their way into a higher leverage spot.

    So let’s consider a hypothetical 5 game playoff series. This offense is good enough to blow a team out in one game. So there’s one win. In that event, go ahead and pull that pitcher and save them to come back on 4 days rest. Give the pen a night off too. So do you see our other pitches outdueling your NLDS’ opponents’ guys? I do. Assuming health, your pen is also plenty able to handle, say, 3 games in a 6 day period. You’d be able to throw your newly acquired closer (we’ll get somebody), Swarzak, Jackson, Newcomb, and whoever steps up between now and then.

    I think that wins a playoff series, something we haven’t done since the beginning of the century? Does it beat the Dodgers? That’s where you gotta ask yourself: do you want to trade Ian Anderson or Drew Waters or Austin Riley or Cristian Pache or Kyle Wright to give yourself a better but non-guaranteed chance of beating the Dodgers? Because then you have to beat the Yankees or Astros too.

    That’s me resigning myself to the Braves not trading a FV 55+ prospect for a TOR who’s still making a lot of money or a rental by really trying to take inventory. But if AA is the magnificent bastard that I think he is, he’ll be able to trade guys with value who are not playing a role in 2019 — Ender, Camargo, Duvall, Demeritte, Minter, etc. — to get the pieces we need for this year, and it’ll all be great. But I’d really rather not trade 6 years of control for someone either making a lot of money or is a rental, but fortunately I think the Braves agree.

    Disclaimer: if the Braves trade for Marcus Stroman or Mike Minor or Zack Greinke and Drew Waters is headed in the other direction, guess who won’t have any tears?

  25. Kyle Muller has been a fast riser on prospect lists, but that walk rate won’t play.

  26. We can’t drop games to teams like KC. But yet another crappy game after an off day

  27. I kinda feel like the shift forced Swarzak to pitch Duda inside, thus allowing him to catch a hanging slider. I think you make it pretty easy for mlb hitters to at least figure what zones you are throwing to and a guy like Duda is swinging for the downs anyway

  28. The record after an off day is like 2-7…maybe they should play a simulated game on days off

  29. I’m gonna blame Flowers for every pitching related problem. Even his framing skills are eroding.

    Before you mention Keuchel having 12 K’s , that was more due to the umpires zone than Flowers catching.

    The braves are something like 36-19 when Bmac catches and 23-22 when Flowers starts.

  30. Cory Blaser is going to peel off his mask, Scooby-Doo-style, to reveal that he is Angel Hernandez. He sucks.

  31. You mean the two fastballs he missed on the black inside? Those “down the middle” fastballs?

  32. Chip’s getting on Ozzie for being impatient, but that pitch was right down the middle. What should he be waiting for? Just can’t pop those up.

  33. Damnit Ozzie, just bat righthanded all the time…we’re screwed

    @70 Acuna has been missing them mostly all year, some more than the middle than others. His damage has mostly been on breaking balls.

    edit: its ozzie bobblehead night, I would’ve thrown mine back unto the field, lol

  34. I’d pinch-hit McCann for Riley here and then make the 8 spot the pitcher’s spot in extras if necessary to keep McCann in, but what do I know.

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