Todayâ€™s post, â€œBraves and Red Sox Hypothetical Tradesâ€, is part 9 in our series focusing on teams that could be sellers or have some expiring contracts that could be attractive options for the Braves. If youâ€™re just catching up, here are the previous 8 pieces:
- Braves and Reds Hypothetical Trade
- Braves and Cubs Hypothetical Trades
- Braves and Rockies Hypothetical Trades
- Braves and Diamondbacks Hypothetical Trades
- Braves and Indians Hypothetical Trades
- Braves and Royals Hypothetical Trades
- Braves and Rangers Hypothetical Trades
- Braves and Mariners Hypothetical Trades
It takes a lot of hard work to be worse than the Orioles, yet the Red Sox did just that in 2020. With a record of 24-36, they won the race to worst by one game. There are still some talented players on this team in Chris Sale, J.D. Martinez, Xander Bogaerts, Christian Vazquez, and Rafael Devers, but the talent pool fades fairly fast and there’s not many reinforcements in the minors as their farm system is ranked between 22nd and 26th on most major outlets. While I don’t expect the Red Sox to trade most of their core, I do think they are seeing what the Blue Jays are doing and knowing what the Yankees and Rays have already on their teams, and accepting fate of a 3rd place finish, at best, in 2021.
Trade Value of Christian Vazquez
Vazquez is under contract for 2021 at $6.25MM and has an option for 2022 for $7MM. He’s a good catcher with good framing rates and provides just as much value behind the plate as he does with the stick. Grabbing a guy like Vazquez would likely only happen if Braves were assured they’d be a DH in 2021. With the team control for 2 years and reasonable contract, Vazquez has quite a lot of surplus value, coming in at $21MM.
Trade Value of Andrew Benintendi
Andrew Benintendi was the opposite of good in 2020. He’s been the opposite of good in the field for his entire career. While the defense isn’t likely to improve, his BABIP of .181 in 2020 shows he had terrible luck. It was a small sample as he was injured for most of the year so I wouldn’t read too much into it. Still, he has real pedigree, will only be 26, and it’s quite possible his best years are ahead of him. Let’s not oversell him though as he’s an .800ish OPS hitter with poor defense.
As far as trade value is concerned, it’s quite low, coming in at $5.3MM. I’m not sure I buy that it’s THAT low, so I’m going to push it to $9MM. He’s under contract for $6.6MM in 2021 and comes with another year of control.
Trade Value of Matt Barnes
Like Adam Dunn, the Barnes of 2020 was also a “3 True Outcome” player. He was either going to give up a walk, record a strikeout or let the hitter jog around the bases slowly. He’s the Red Sox version of Luke Jackson, except his weapon is the curve, not the slider. Barnes is under contract for $4.5MM in 2021 and will be a free agent in 2022. His trade value comes in at $1.5MM.
Trade Number 1
- Braves get Christian Vazquez
- Red Sox get Shea Langeliers
Breakdown: A proven catcher for a good catching prospect.
Trade Number 2
- Braves get Andrew Benintendi
- Red Sox get Bryse Wilson
Breakdown: I’m going to give myself a little credit here…this feels like a very real deal that both teams would consider.
Trade Number 3
- Braves get Matt Barnes
- Red Sox get Sean Newcomb
Breakdown: Braves get a reliever with control issues but dominant stuff. Newcomb returns to his home to see if he can get his career back on track.
Conclusion: I’m not over the moon about any of these fake deals. Oddly enough, if I had to choose one, I’d go with #3. The Benintendi trade feels the most realistic, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it. I guess the real issue is none of these deals really move the needle much and feel secondary to what’s already on the market with the exception being Vazquez.
Thanks for reading Braves and Red Sox Hypothetical Trades. Thoughts?
In a lifetime of watching baseball, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a team that looked less interested in playing that last year’s Red Sox. (I hasten to add that that this is just a personal impression based on their games against the Braves.) Some of this was Covid-related and some of it was that they knew they weren’t going to be very good, but obviously just going through the motions is demoralizing. I suspect that almost any Red Sox player (which I have always called a Sock, irritating my friends who are fans of the team) is somewhat better than they showed last year, just by getting to a place where others care.
That said, none of these trades excite me very much, either.
So, what will inevitably lead at some point to the end of Ryan and I’s offline friendship, I have to leak something Ryan told me again. Ryan has a source (who is a good source if it’s the source I think it is) that thinks that Kris Bryant will be a Brave. I know Ryan’s not happy with me right now, and I love you and I’m sorry, Ryan.
I would love the Bryant pickup. He’s your Donaldson, he’s your Ozuna. He would probably come cheap from Chicago, he’s owed $18.6M next year, so he’s your next 1 year, $18-20M position player “show me” deal that AA has earned truth with.
This does match what the bloggy blogs are saying, for what it’s worth:
JonathanF, I enjoy both your write ups and your comments. God bless you, but you add a welcome weirdness to the Journal; and there are quite a few regulars looking for their marbles.
Y’all are friends?
Most of the time. When I don’t piss him off. I’ve never met the man, but I look forward to one day.
I went back and checked—Ryan’s suggestion was Newki and Touki for Bryant. I’d pull the trigger on that one. I’m a big Touki fan, and I’d love to see him make it, but I no longer expect it.
If they do get Bryant, who plays third and who plays left? How bad is Bryant in the outfield?
@7 – I’d even throw in Lukey.
Oh man, Steelers getting waxed out the gate. How embarrassing. Can’t imagine an MLB team falling behind so hopelessly to start a playoff game.
Ryan’s batting stance tells you all you need to know about his declining power and average numbers. Would hate us to have to pay 20MM per to watch that every night. There are no tears being shed in Chicago for him. Like Kimbrel, regular exposure through the aging process, Wrigley or Fenway, sours the earlier halos. Be gone.
My Football Club, Arsenal, in London, in dire straights after several ill advised signings and trades, were much in need of a major cash injection, Mr. Kroenke inevitably declining such support. He’s only the owner, for crissake.
Imagine our delight then to read last week we got a 250 million pound loan – from our emaciated Government no less! Never happened before, ever, in anything like that size. Who says times are tough, absurd really, short term or no.
So who do we know here who has his finger on the Wall Street pulse and through that access to
certain newly appointed government gurus anxious to get their new careers off to a flying start? You know and I know who that is, he reigns majestically in these pages over any or all of our numbers, in every sense. Let us know when its done please and back into the market we will go.
Benintendi makes sense as a “we really need at least 1 more decent MLB outfielder” kind of trade. His star has really faded over the past few years.