Braves Trade Ideas: Less Prospects, Bigger Bags of $, Part 2

Intro of the series can be found here.

Part 1 of the series can be found here.

After a short series where the boys get swept by one of the worst teams in MLB, it’s easy to get discouraged but let me get a little bit cliche real quick: If someone were to have told you prior to the season that the Braves would be 4 games up in the division with a 60-43 record less than a week before the deadline, you’d take that every dadgum day. Here’s to hoping the bats come alive in a crucial series against the Nationals and AA makes a move or 2 to bolster the club.

Six days until the speculation and madness of the trade deadline are over, and after listening to Alex Anthopoulos yesterday in his on-air mid-game interview, I’m as confused as ever. Here’s the breakdown:

  • He wants to add
  • It could be a reliever
  • It could be a starter
  • It could be a bat
  • It could be 2 of the 3 above
  • It could be 3 of the 3 above
  • It could be 0 of the 3 above

I’m still assuming that there will be moves made, but I’m also not going to assume that the Braves are going to trade multiple top prospects such as Cristian Pache, Drew Waters, or Ian Anderson. In fact, I’d even be surprised if one was included as there are plenty of trade chips without trading the 3 best.

There were many teams covered in the first piece, but I don’t feel like all of them are matches. Even with the Dallas Keuchel signing, the Braves still have “financial flexibility” which could allow them to keep their high end prospects and take more dollars back in return. I think this is where they’ll go and that road could lead Alex to the Colorado Rockies.

Matching up with the Colorado Rockies

When shopping in the aisle that’s a mile above sea level, it’s very important to remember this rule: Never buy high on the hitters and always buy low on the pitchers. I’ve seen some Twitterers wanting to grab Charlie Blackmon because he’s having such a great season. Make no mistake, they are correct, but there’s never been a split in MLB history that is this extreme:

Home: 1.318 OPS
Away: .659 OPS

Talk about buyer’s remorse! Imagine emptying the farm for Blackmon then the real Blackmon shows up, unaided by the Coors Effect. I have no doubt he could be an .800 OPS guy, but we’ve already had an .800 OPS guy with poor defense in the past, and it didn’t work out well.

So, who could the Braves target from the team that has went 1-9 in their last 10 and have solidified themselves as deadline sellers? I’ve got that answer.

Target 1, Jon Gray

In what has been a rocky relationship with the franchise that drafted him, Gray has been on my short list of buy low acquisitions for quite some time. With a few adjustments aided by humidity, I believe that Gray could be the guy slotting in front of a lot of other guys. With 2 more years of control past 2019, Gray won’t be cheap.

Target 2, Wade Davis

If you thought that Blackmon’s splits above were eye-popping, Wade Davis’s love/hate relationship with home/away is opposite and equal all at once:

Home: 9.53 ERA
Away: 0.73 ERA

That’s bloody remarkable. I’m sure if me, the keyboard wannabe GM, can find these numbers then every other team in baseball can see them as well. However, Braves might be one of the only teams in baseball that can absorb Davis’s 17MM in 2020 and take on the full contract in 2019, and that will most definitely keep the prospect cost down but could provide great benefits to this team down the road. Not only that, but no pitcher in their right mind seeks out Colorado via free agency unless Colorado overpays for their services (here’s looking at you Davis…and our old friend Mike Hampton). Lucky for Colorado, the Braves are stocked with pitchers that have no choice but to play for them should they were to be acquired. In my humble opinion, the Rockies and the Braves are great trade partners.

The Trade

Braves acquire Jon Gray and Wade Davis

Rockies acquire Bryse Wilson, Tucker Davidson, and Adam Duvall

Breakdown: There are a ton of packages that could work out there, but this is one I’ve weighed out in terms FV. The Rockies get 3 guys that have value while getting rid of, what I’m sure they see as, sunk cost in Wade Davis. The Braves get 2 guys that come with risk, less risk of someone like Kevin Gausman, but you’ll not find a bigger upside play on this market.

What do y’all think? Yes? No? 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.

57 thoughts on “Braves Trade Ideas: Less Prospects, Bigger Bags of $, Part 2”

  1. I love the idea Ryan, I have long wanted Gray as well. I think the cost is a little light on our end I’m afraid, perhaps adding Wentz and Demeritte gets it done though.

  2. @1
    I did the math and the value is even in terms of FV, but I do think you’re correct that it could take a bit more.

  3. Jon Gray: yes, please. Wade Davis: there goes the financial flexibility but just maybe worth the wager.

    Thank you, Ryan C.

  4. I agree your math checks out, I just don’t think the real world uses that (or most don’t). Are you familiar with the Doyle number?

    It basically says ATL should be willing to give up 1.64 of future WAR for every 1 WAR added to this year’s team.

    It’s not exactly getting at the same thing, but I think that is closer to how the actual market operates. Surplus value doesn’t account for the fact that teams will sacrifice higher potential future value for help in the present, and teams are unwilling to part with their assets unless it’s somewhat of an overpay.

  5. That’s mostly the take I’ve gotten watching the Braves through July. It seems like we’re buyers, it seems like we’ll buy, but we’re not likely to buy what we want most due to lack of availability, we probably will buy something, however we could buy nothing.

    Expect anything. Or nothing. This team is loaded, either way, so it should at least score runs. I’m not gonna panic, but it looks like this division will be a race even though I didn’t want one…

  6. I couldn’t find the formula for the Doyle number (even after going out to an earlier article). My biggest concerns about utilizing it are (a) how it deals with payroll cost going and coming and (b) how it totals WAR for the “seller.”

    The “value estimators” that use dollars estimate the 6 cost controlled years of prospects in a way that calculates in the “bust rate.” That is where these standard dollar numbers for “55FV position player”, etc. come from. They use actual trades.

    I like a trade for Jon Gray. I think the Rockies could like getting a mixed group of good to possibly good pitchers.

    If Holland was “just” money (and I assumed that utilizing it on Holland will block other acquisitions), then I am not so sure. Would that mean you do not QO Donaldson?

  7. 7 – I don’t think it should be plugged into the formula necessarily to calculate an even trade, the Doyle number is saying how much should a team be willing to give up for a win today and to your point, the Doyle number for sellers is pretty useless IMO.

    I also understand they use actual trades, but there are a lot of factors other than surplus value. Also, other teams could over inflate the value or their assets and under inflate the value of our assets, throwing off the calculations (or vice versa, we could be inflating the value of our assets).

  8. At least our mean regression is starting before the deadline. We have time to slump and then peak again. Peaking in June isn’t what we want anyways.

  9. Duvall would be a perfect fit for them (right handed hitter with some pop). And they need some offense. Seeing as how Davis only is signed through next year, AA might be amenable to having him. It may cost demeritte as well which would be ok (I think the braves should call up demerite and send Riley back down to play everyday). It still feels a bit light in a sellers market. But braves now have 6 plus starters outside of gray if he floundered. (Gaus, Teheran, Keuchel, soroka, fried and folty if he gets right). Gray would be a good change of scenery guy along with giving braves more rotation depth for next year. So of all the fake trade proposals I have seen this works best. I still think ATL should pursue givens from Baltimore and LeClerc from Texas as they prob won’t cost an arm and a leg.

  10. Ryan.

    When you closed down the previous thread this morning to open this one I wonder if it occured to you to glance at its ongoing content before you did so. Your new thread was not particularly time specific, there was no game about to start etc, it could be argued that it would have worked as well on an off day being posted early this afternoon.

    You teach English, right? I hope my memory has held up. You will be aware of the creative process then, its trials and tribulations. The pleasure when it ‘works’. I had written two new clerihews in the last hour or so of that threads life and, dear me, they were ‘above average’ by my humble standards. I was pleased. But that’s not the point. Good or bad they were original poetry. They could have done with an hour or two’s more exposure before being buried.

    So to revert back to my original question – were you aware of this possibility before you recapped? And, if not, would you be so in the future? Thanks.

  11. Reading the previous thread it seemed the discussion had reached the logical end; someone mentioned “DOOMED”, Alex posted Phil music, someone asked about that, Alex answered, no one else had anything to add (and I’m not sure there is more to add after explaining the origin of Phil vs. DOOMED). It seemed like a perfectly ok time to start a new thread to me. If you are worried about your poetry not getting enough viewing time just re-post them in the next thread; people re-post to the next thread all the time. This now makes two complaints about a post someone else has made (the other complaint about someone putting non-actual-game-recap-related stories in the recap (which I enjoyed very much)) which you have made in the last few weeks. No one complains about the poetry… just sayin.

  12. Would love to add Jon Gray, especially for a package similar to the one you’re suggesting.

  13. Blazon,
    I have a 1 year old and a 3 year old that I’m all hands on deck until I go back to teach. My 1 year old took a nap and I had a small window of opportunity to get something up on an off day. Our off days struggle to get new readers here and it’s my goal to grow this wonderful place so it can stay sustainable. We’ve got some great things coming for BJ and instead of criticizing the new, we’ve got to adapt a little in order to stay around.

    By the way, I’ve always loved reading your poetry and I’d like to continue seeing it.

  14. I sympathize with wanting threads to last a little longer, but that’s the trade-off when you have more content on the site.

    I want to applaud Rob for bringing in new contributors and growing the content, while still maintaining the bar-like hang out in the comments.

    It’s a tough needle to thread, but I think Rob is doing a great job with trying to balance the two.

  15. @ 18,

    Twenty year bourbon. Scots-Irish meets true Irish, well aged, and definitely Southern.

  16. Ryan/AAR/Dusty…

    JC’d it is then…I’ve used it a bit in the past but always felt a little guilty – we poets you know, such sensitive souls…thanks.


    what were once the be and end alls
    the slugger’s delight
    now threaten the tranquillity of each and every night.


    Simon Collins
    shares no relationship with Dave Hollins
    one born into the world of the leathered glove
    the other likely besotted with contemporary acts of love.

  17. At least y’all have been pretty good about adding “new thread” posts to the old ones, so you can tell that you got JC’d.

    It’s so embarrassing when you have a conversation with yourself on a thread that’s 2 days old, just b/c you have no idea there’s a new one.

  18. Sometimes I feel like I get JC’d so much, I want request the term be changed to Dusty’d.

    JC never comes here anymore, he just rails about the film credit on Twitter.

    I suppose there is something to keeping the historical terms from Mac’s days though…

  19. @22
    “Looks like there was a dust up on the last thread”.

    Future message from me when your scenario plays out.

  20. This is a pretty good hypothetical deal. If Atlanta did it I sure wouldn’t complain. Wade Davis has been there and done it when it comes to playoff baseball, and “away” Wade Davis is exactly the type of closer the Braves need.

    Another bonus- the Braves would be paying less for a good, young ML starter without a pedigree, hoping a change of scenery helps; versus over-paying for a young ML starter without a pedigree in Boyd, who screams buying high.

    Also I like that the Braves top 4 prospects stay. I’d rather the Braves do nothing than deal one, unless they can get Bauer or Thor somehow.

  21. The Nats are the enemy. This I know full well, but …

    I like Max Scherzer. I enjoy watching him pitch. And Juan Soto can flat out hit. I’d love for him to play the opposite corner from Ronald for, oh, say the next ten years or so. And I’ve got a warm spot in my heart for Suzuki. I’d swap him for Flowers every day, though Zuk’s no defensive wizard himself. Furthermore, Turner is a pain in the butt, but I admire the game he plays.

    Don’t worry. I still want them to finish dead last in the East, well maybe next to last, just ahead of the Phillies.

    Mea culpa.

  22. @28 I must admit I don’t hate the Nats like I used to. I suppose it’s mostly because Harper’s gone. Werth is also gone, and Zimmerman is getting old. Scherzer and Soto are downright likable (and awesome). Maybe this will be good for me.

  23. Wish we played the Rockies this weekend. That is one craptacular team right now.

  24. Anyone see any of the reports that the Mets are “actively” looking to move Syndergaard? I’d love to see the Braves move aggressively on a deal for him.

  25. …watching Tanaka pitching the bottom of the first at Fenway…gave up 7 runs, Bogerts(Sp?) took him out what appeared to be 20 feet above the top of the Monster into downtown. So we all have problems.

  26. So the Mets have scouts at both our AA and AAA games today. Wright is starting for AAA (and not very well), and Anderson is starting for AA (and dealing).

    What a plot twist for AA to pull off a Thor blockbuster.

  27. Shane Carle
    bid him farewell, a smile or a snarl?
    Cash considerations
    mean no other miscreant can complicate our frenzied calculations.

  28. Alright, which of the seven gods do I need to offer a sacrifice to get Syndergaard on our team?

  29. I dunno. Probably wanna do all seven to be safe, right? Stakes are too high.

  30. The old gods and the new, to be extra safe.

    I wouldn’t feel great about dealing Anderson, but I trust that AA won’t deal him unless we’re getting a top-shelf player in return.

  31. Wright settled down to go 6 IP, 3 ER on 6 Ks and no walks.

    Anderson went 5.1 IP, 1 unearned run on 9 Ks and 2 walks.

    Pache went 1-4. Waters, Demerritte and AJax all took 0fers.

    Wasn’t AA the general manager who traded Thor and D’Arnaud for Dickey?

  32. There aren’t too many guys I’d deal Ian Anderson for, but Syndergaard would be one. Syndergaard, Keuchel and Sororka would be a pretty fierce playoff rotation. Wonder if Anderson, Toussaint, Wilson and Jackson would get it done?

  33. @43 I’d rather have Syndergaard over DeGrom because he’s younger and every bit as good.

  34. If Mets want to get back to competitive quickly, I’d rather send them Wright than Anderson. They are are desperate for bats, though, so they have got to be begging for Pache or Waters. Diaz seems like an opportunity to buy low. I’d like to see something like Wright, Wilson, Contreras/Jackson, Duvall, Demeritte for Thor and Diaz. If you consider Contreras a Top 100 (or top 110) then they’re getting three Top 100 (two top 50) prospects and Duvall and Demeritte. That also gives them three 40-man guys for two and opens up another spot for us to call someone up, too.

    On the other hand, even Ender is hitting better than Lagares….

  35. @47 I just caught something stating the Mets were focused on Minnesota’s young position prospects in trade talks, so you probably are right about it taking Pache or Waters. I’d be fine with that, though. Easier to find OFs than top level pitching, after all. Heck, the Braves could keep Donaldson and play Riley in the OF again for another year or two.

  36. So, because the offense is playing like dog poop right now, I thought I’d run some numbers on Julio Teheran, who seems to be almost equally underappreciated by Braves fans and non-Braves fans.

    Since his rookie season in 2013, he has made 211 starts, fourth-most in baseball behind only Max Scherzer, Jose Quintana, and Jon Lester. He’s one of only 10 pitchers who have made 200 starts over that period — that is to say, averaging 30 starts per 162 over the last six and a half years.

    Among pitchers with at least 1000 innings pitched since 2013, Julio’s ERA is 3.59, 16th-best in baseball. He’s behind Kershaw, deGrom, Scherzer, Greinke, Sale, Bumgarner, Kluber, Arrieta, Strasburg, Lester, Verlander, Cole, Price, Hamels, and he’s just 0.05 runs behind his teammate Dallas Keuchel and 0.01 runs ahead of Lance Lynn. (He’s a few ticks lower than that in ERA- and ERA+, but he’s basically always right around Jose Quintana, Lance Lynn, and Dallas Keuchel.)

    Now, he doesn’t look like one of the better pitchers in baseball. He looks like Old Livan Hernandez, throwing slop for the Giants. That’s what accounts for the fact that, from 2013-2019, Julio has the single largest gap between his ERA and his FIP — his ERA minus FIP is -0.59, meaning that his FIP thinks he’s more than half a run worse than he’s been!

    (In second place is his former teammate R.A. Dickey, and everyone knows flutterballs break the metrics. But Zack Greinke is fourth, and Kershaw is seventh. A lot of extraordinary pitchers prevent runs better than their components would suggest.)

    Why is Teheran’s ERA so much better than his FIP? Well, he also has the second-lowest BABIP in baseball over that period, .268, tied with Jake Arrieta. In first place, just a single point lower, with a .267 BABIP, is Kershaw.

    Julio Teheran isn’t Clayton Kershaw — hey, no one is. He’s much more similar to guys like Quintana and Keuchel. But Quintana’s a guy the Cubs were so desperate to add that they traded away Eloy Jimenez, and Keuchel is a Cy Young Award winner and two-time All-Star. (Of course, Julio’s a two-time All-Star, too.)

    He doesn’t pitch deep in games, and his four-seamer looks weaker than a 90-year-old bookkeeper in a swimsuit. And he’s still one of the better pitchers in baseball and always has been. As Branch Rickey once said about Eddie Stanky:

    “He can’t run, he can’t hit and he can’t throw. But if there’s a way to beat the other team, he’ll find it.”

  37. @27,28

    This is how it starts. Then one day you wake up and you find that you’ve gone full Marc Schneider.

  38. @51-52

    If there were ever two consecutive posts that encapsulate what Braves Journal is a lot of the time and what I hope it was all the time, these two would be it. I should screenshot it and put it on our “About” page, and just say, “This is what we’re about. Content and community.”

  39. @51
    Great breakdown. Admittedly, I’m no Julio fan, merely because I feel like ya just can’t trust him in the postseason. His pickoff move had a lot to do with his FIP always being higher, but now that it doesn’t show up nearly as much, I think that his inability to pitch late in games actually plays to an advantage to his ERA as he’s just not going to let guys beat him and will either force them to swing outside the zone or take a walk, driving up his pitch count early. Not many people survive with a 2:1 K/BB ratio combined with a 40% GB-rate, yet here he is again doing more than surviving.

    The obvious downside to Julio is that he rarely makes it past the 6th inning and that has a greater impact on the bullpen in the long run.

  40. To be fair, we haven’t had a pitcher I would “trust in the post-season” in a long long time. Soroka vs Ryu looks like a loss 9 out of 10 times.

  41. Now this is what I call a well thought out deal here.Surely would be a game changer for the Braves and make this team be feared with it’s depth in all facets .Great work man you should send this to AA lol

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