Winter Meetings, Day 4: Rule 5 Draft


The Braves, while thin in the minors, do have a few players that could be enticing to other teams in the Major League portion of the Rule 5 draft.

As a reminder, the Braves did choose to protect 3 players by placing them on the 40-man roster. Those players are Braden Shewmake, Roddery Munoz, and Darius Vines. And while the org did not choose to protect them, Alan Rangel and Brooks Wilson were left off the 40-man, but re-signed to what is probably a more lucrative deal than what they’ve gotten thus far in their career.

As a reminder, the players that get drafted in the MLB portion of the Rule 5 have to stay on the active roster (unless injured) for the entire year or be offered back to the original team. The most recent player the Braves took that had a successful MLB career was Dan Winkler, who was recovering from Tommy John at the time, so it was easy to house him. Relievers are popular choices for many reasons in the Rule 5, because there’s so much guesswork put on their effectiveness, or lack thereof, when it comes to getting MLB hitters out. If any of the Braves players get chosen, it would be my guess it would be of the reliever variety.

Here’s the full list of the Braves Minor Leaguers that are eligible to be drafted in the MLB portion of the Rule 5:

  1. C, Javier Valdes
  2. 1B, Drew Lugbauer
  3. Utility, Cade Bunnell
  4. Utility, Cody Milligan
  5. OF, Justin Dean
  6. Utility, Greyson Jenista
  7. SP, Nolan Kingham
  8. RP, Justin Yeager
  9. RP, Victor Vodnik
  10. RP, Indigo Diaz
  11. RP, Hayden Deal
  12. RP, Jake Higginbotham
  13. RP/SP, Connor Johnstone

Breakdown: Many on this list will be returning to the Braves as there’s 0 chance they’ll be picked up in the MLB portion of the Rule-5. Those players are Valdes, Milligan, Dean, Yeager, Deal, Higginbotham, and Johnstone. While most of the others are likely safe, there’s a small chance that they get picked up.

Guesswork on the 3 Who’s Most Likely to be Selected

  1. Victor Vodnik: Vodnik is in the mold of Dan Winkler. He has a good arm, but has had a hard time keeping said arm healthy. When healthy, the arm is electric and would make a great bullpen piece. Like Winkler, Vodnik can live on the IL for awhile and collect an MLB paycheck, go on a rehab assignment, and get a shot to stick. If he doesn’t, the Braves can get him back.
  2. Indigo Diaz: In 2021, Diaz was the most electric RP arm in the system. Highlight after highlight, he looked the part. 2022 wasn’t as kind as his BB-rate spiked and the K-rate (while still an impressive 11.4) dropped. Still, it’s hard to ignore his 2021 success and I think many teams will at least hesitate before passing over him.
  3. Cade Bunnell: While I think there’s very little chance that Bunnell gets selected, he is pretty established at this point with 4 years in college ball and 3 in MILB ball. In his age 25 season, he played every infield position and carried a .796 OPS that was aided by a .380 OBP. If there’s a team that’s looking for a cheap, controllable, 26th man, Bunnell could be that guy. It’s also worth noting that Bunnell got better when he was promoted to AA as he OPS’d .990 in 178 PAs. That’s hard to do in Pearl.

Author: Ryan Cothran

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

93 thoughts on “Winter Meetings, Day 4: Rule 5 Draft”

  1. JC’ed:

    Yeah, the Peña part is hype. But IF Grissom can play SS competently, then he’s probably a 2.5-3 WAR SS, and I can definitely live with that for the league minimum. I love Dansby, I want him back, but it’s not like we have no one behind him the way we had no one behind Freddie.

    Grissom could be Amed Rosario next year: below average defense per FG, .280/.312/.403 for a 103 wRC+, 18 SBs, 2.4 fWAR. If you can get that for the league minimum and go spend $25M elsewhere, that’s not a bad way of handling the situation.

    But let’s say he’s actually a decent defender, then he’s who Elvis Andrus was last year: above average defense per FG, .249/.303/.404 for a 105 wRC+, same 18 SBs, 3.5 fWAR.

    If he can play legit defense, it won’t take much for Grissom to be a perfectly good replacement for no money.

  2. AA probably wanted him back but at maybe 1/$12 or so. I don’t think 2/$32 would be very wise. There were some concerning signs at times last year.

  3. @3 agreed. A two-year commitment would have been excessive, particularly when we already have Iglesias on board

  4. 1YR/$16M last year is a way better investment than 2YR/$32M this year, IMO. He’s chugging along, but I don’t know if he’s worth going 2 years on since there are a lot of good relievers out there.

    It’s pretty neat that Jansen’s FIP has been within 18 points the last 3 years (3.03, 3.08, 3.21 last 3 years). He’s chugging.

  5. Well Mets add another arm … Braves just gonna sit till after Dansbys wedding and honeymoon before reacting ??

    Where us the backing up of .. oh the tax wont hold us back .. our 2 main division rivals have went and made huge splashes .. are the Braves gonna get some balls and go out on a limb .. either pay the money or give up the farm for a difference maker ??? thoughts ???

  6. @1 I’m 100% on board with rolling with a Grissom/Arcia combo at SS next year and seeing what happens. Dansby is a good player and all, but we’ve seen the best he’s got and it’s not worth giving him a $140M deal. It’s a bummer to see Mark Bowman say Grissom isn’t ready for SS – I assume that means Wash told AA that his defense isn’t ready b/c there’s no strategic gain for the Braves in letting that be known (it reduces our leverage with Dansby).

    Frankly, the Braves’ biggest need for next season is probably figuring out a way for LF to not be a black hole of awful – it would help if they could get something out of Eddie Rosario or (assuming they don’t drop him) Ozuna.

    AA has stacked up so many long term deals for “core contributors” that I am wary of seeing the Braves continue to pile up more of them – at a certain point you lock up so many players that you’ve reduced flexibility (financially and in roster space) and having some ability to pivot in accordance with unanticipated needs arising is super valuable.

  7. If I were about to overpay for Swanson I’d probably leak out some pre-justification i.e. “we don’t have an in-house SS answer”.

  8. A quiet offseason for AA was more likely than not. Outside of SS, what glaring holes are there to fill? LF? Some relief depth? But that’s pretty much it.

  9. Couldn’t care less about Jansen. I’m still of a mind that spending eight figures on a reliever is a bad idea unless you’re absolutely sure the rest of your roster is rock-solid.

    The fact that the Braves’ propaganda outlets are out there pitching guys like Amed Rosario and Elvis Andrus is a pretty strong signal that they’ve received their marching orders to prep the ground: Swanson’s leaving, and the Braves are going cheap on his replacement. Time to sell it. Pay no attention to my breathless reporting about the luxury tax being no object literally days ago; it’s now time to explain why the Braves are super-geniuses for paying a guy $4 million to be replacement level while they’re trying to win a championship.

    I mean, these guys aren’t by any means guaranteed to post a .300 OBP, but at least they’re also poor fielders! (In our brave new post-shift world, to boot.)

    You better get one hell of a left fielder for that cash.

  10. Braves did this in 2021:
    Signed Arcia, Pina, and Yates to 2 year deals.
    Traded for Matt Olson
    Signed Rosario for 2 years
    Signed Jansen
    Signed McHugh

    Patience, crew. We all know how AA operates, but some of us seem to forget that around this time…every year!

  11. What’s the story on Adam Duvall? Why isn’t he considered in the leftfield mix? Good fielder, streaky power hitter, and seems to be overall a positive member of the roster.

  12. Duvall’s wrist injury is a concern, nevermind that he was a negative-value player last year for the innings that he did play. We need to do much better in LF. Rosario sucks too. Need a new plan.

  13. Grissom could be Amed Rosario next year: below average defense per FG, .280/.312/.403 for a 103 wRC+, 18 SBs, 2.4 fWAR. If you can get that for the league minimum and go spend $25M elsewhere, that’s not a bad way of handling the situation.

    You’re not wrong. But, to quote Ron Washington: “It’s incredibly hard.”

    Also, I’m happy for William Contreras’s older brother. $87.5 million ain’t too bad.

    Anyway, Aledmys Diaz is off the board. We’d better go re-sign Dansby.

  14. Q for our esteemed brethren…

    If Swanson leaves, would YOU rather have a GREAT glove, 75 wRC+ bat or a 115 wRC+ bat with -ZRs and Range Factor?

    SS is probably the one position where I’d say the former. And my reputation as anti-defense is well established.

    What say ye?

  15. With the uncertainty of the shift this coming season, I feel like I’d rather have the glove. That’s more of an aesthetic thing, though — in many respects it’s a “what’s heavier, a ton of granite or a ton of feathers” kind of question. The issue is that you conceded the position to a non-contributor in the first place.

  16. I think that’s easy. We have a lineup that can hide a weak bat. Hell, we won the division a few times with two or three weak bats (though the innings when you’re behind and those guys come up to flail are excruciating). But a replacement-level fielding shortstop? No thanks.

    Catcher and shortstop are the two positions where you can tolerate a poor bat with fielding prowess…. the only two. And by prowess… I mean in-his-prime Simba or Simba-lite.

  17. The flaw in this mindset is the biggest free agent OF bat out there is…who?

    I mean, here’s the list of FA OFers: Albert Almora (29), Andrew Benintendi (28), Michael Brantley (36), Kole Calhoun (35), Willie Calhoun (28),, Corey Dickerson (34), Adam Duvall (34), Ben Gamel (31), Robbie Grossman (33), Trey Mancini (31), Andrew McCutchen (36), David Peralta (35), Tommy Pham (35), Chad Pinder (31) A.J. Pollock (35), Jurickson Profar (30), Raimel Tapia (29), Luke Williams (26), Greg Allen (30), Jackie Bradley Jr. (33) Lorenzo Cain (37), Jonathan Davis (31), Adam Engel (31), Garrett Hampson (28), Guillermo Heredia (32), Michael Hermosillo (28), Odubel Herrera (31), Travis Jankowski (32), Jake Marisnick (32), Tyler Naquin (32), Brandon Nimmo (30), Rafael Ortega (32), Brett Phillips (29), Kevin Pillar (35), Magneuris Sierra (27), Bradley Zimmer (30), Brian Anderson (30), Aristides Aquino (29), Luis Barrera (27), Kole Calhoun (35), Travis Demeritte (28), Joey Gallo (29), Ben Gamel (31), Wil Myers (32), Stephen Piscotty (32).

    Brandon Nimmo is the answer. There are middling bats here…no big ones.

  18. Nimmo and Rodon are the two best FA’s on the board and they are both Boras clients, and are both being courted by multiple big money teams. I’d be shocked if either came here. We have all this money to spend, and really only Dansby to spend it on. Yes there’s the pen, and someone has to play LF, and we’ll make other tweaks here and there, but in the end it’s Dansby or bust, just to get us back to where we started.

  19. #20
    Yup, depends on the team’s makeup, but SS is always the glove position to me.

    IMO, an infield w/o a good shortstop is like a rock band w/ a bad drummer. Just doesn’t work.

  20. The Braves are not into paying nine figures for a sub-superstar talent, I suspect. Again, though, the market is what it is. If you decide you don’t want to pay those prices, but you still want to compete, you’re restricted to the trade market — a dicey proposition when you’ve largely emptied out the farm system.

    The Braves are in an awkward spot where they don’t move the needle much by acquiring a handful of pretty good guys. This isn’t the summer of 2021 anymore, where any outfielder with a pulse makes you better. They’ve got a lot of pretty good guys already. What they need are solidly above-average players, and if you want those, it’ll cost, one way or another.

    The Braves are fortunate enough that their baseline if they do nothing is still a pretty good team… but they still shouldn’t settle for pretty good if they’re looking for another ring.

  21. At this point if we cannot resign Dansby I suggest trading a catcher to the Yankees for either of their AAA prospects and riding with Grissom to begin the year. That future sounds wayyyy better than any of the “cheaper” MLB options

  22. As I procrastinate by perusing baseball-reference, I’m realizing this team is actually much older than I thought. The only impact guys under 25 going into next year are the three rookies (Harris/Strider/Grissom). The team is a lot of dudes in their primes – aka built to win now!

    This makes me more amenable to the idea of overpaying Dansby…we are not just a good team like the 2010-14 Braves, this is a championship caliber team. We just won 101 games!

    The market is very player friendly this year so my guess for the Dansby contract is somewhere around 6/$150 or 7/$175…and I think if that’s the case the Braves should take it

  23. Dang, JHM seems like a high price. I was really excited about him.

    In other news, the pen is absolutely loaded again. And we have very little money tied up in it compared to recent years of giving Smith, Jensen, and/or Melancon all the money.

  24. We traded Malloy for a reliever? Hopefully this is the first domino of something great, but I agree, the price seems steep.

  25. That seems… not good. Jimenez is a pure rental, and while you can never have too much pitching, the bullpen wasn’t really crying out for attention.

  26. I’m not sure I’d be rushing to throw money at a guy who has had exactly one (1) good year in his career. Also, he’s not exactly a physical specimen.

  27. The Jimenez deal is one where I just have to trust the Braves FO, because nothing about it looks good to me. It appears we traded a corner outfielder of the future for a reliever who has had 1 decent year out of 6. His strikeout rate has always been good, but the key to his success last year was he went from a walk every 1.25 innings in 2021 to a walk every 4.3 innings in 2022. If he can keep it up, we could have something. It still seems like a high risk move to me, but we shall see.

  28. I do think we’re a little conditioned to think there’s another great position player just over the horizon, and JHM was supposed to be the next one. But what if he’s exactly how he’s ranked, the 7-11th ranked prospect in the worst farm system in baseball? What if he’s indeed a guy that wouldn’t crack a good farm’s top 10-15 prospects as his current ranking suggests?

    It’s also hard getting used to trading our prospects.

  29. I kind of love this deal, if for no other reason than that it’s tailor-made to drive a certain segment of our fans up a wall. Should be entertaining! Remind me to check in at Battery Power tomorrow for entertainment purposes.

  30. @43 very good point.
    Malloy wasn’t amazing in the AFL, he’s hit pretty good in the lower minors, but not astounding. We got back one of the best relievers in all of baseball last season. We are trying to win the WS again over the next two seasons and Malloy in all likelihood wouldn’t contribute much to that in either season.
    JJ can help a lot next season.
    I think AA offers JJ an in season extension once he shows last year’s performance improvements wasn’t an outlier.
    Our MLB team is better for ’23 after this trade.
    Many people are saying a glove first SS would be would Conley ( who hit better than Malloy in the AFL) or Shewmake fall into that category?
    I’d like a trade for one of the Yankees ss prospects, not sure what they’d want from us in return..? Ian Anderson?

  31. AA confirming what UK Brave is saying @47:
    “But, when we signed Riley to that long term deal, we shifted him (JHM) to the outfield. Obviously, Olson was signed long term at first base. So, third and first were not going to be a position for him in Atlanta. At the end of the day, that was the cost to get him. Always tough to trade young players, but we’re in a position where we have a chance to contend to win a championship.””

  32. Bogaerts gets 11/$280 from the Padres. Unreal.

    8/$200 is entirely conceivable for Dansby now. If that’s the case, the Braves should pass.

  33. A year ago the Red Sox signed Trevor Story for 6/140. The Phillies and Padres spending stupid money makes this such a weird market.

    Can we base the market on some of these odd, outlier deals? I imagine Dansby’s team is doing their job and trying to do exactly that.

  34. @43 — If you’ve got fifty bucks to spend, you don’t flush it down the toilet just because it won’t buy you a new car.

    What’s the upside here? Jimenez pitches ~50 lights-out innings as the fourth or fifth guy on the depth chart, then walks? Are you really allocating your resources in the best possible way there?

    @50 — At a point they stop being outlier deals and just become “the market.” If you’re not willing to operate at that level, fine… but you still have to get talent from somewhere, and it probably won’t be the farm system for at least a few years.

  35. We gave away our top position player for a 1 year rental of a RH relief pitcher .. wow guess our farm system is that bad … no way we have whta it takes to get a good LF like Brian Reynolds in a trade now .. get your gloves ready Ozuna and Rosario ..LF is yours … our team has digressed in a year that we had some money to spend ..we just saw the Phils blow right past us and the Mets spending money like crazy .. hope the guys we put our money in Riley, Harris etc pan out .. of note sometimes these guys get the money and the incentive is gone .. point : Aug 1st Riley signed his contract .. he was the hottest hitter in baseball .. after Aug 1st ..he hit 200 and his production dropped significantly … SS is now a hole and LF is still a hole .. good luck … we have sit on our hands while others improved .

  36. @51 Jiminez is “flushing money down the toilet”?

    Jiminez probably has about $15M in surplus value. What does JHM have?

  37. Well, I’ll go ahead and take my Dansby sticker off the Yeti. He ain’t coming back.

  38. My mind weirdly goes to this might end up being a dumb trade but I understand why they made it. If JJ is very good, the Braves will be happy, if Malloy becomes a 1.5 WAR player the Tigers will be happy.

    On its face the trade is not good but I think context and organization posture matters. I’ve long been a proponent of using the farm system in exactly this manner. ID 1-2 untradeables and use the rest to acquire proven(tm) talent. JJ is ‘somewhat’ proven but he did pitch in a cold weather city in a known pitchers park. This is better than keeping prospects too long until they lose their value.

  39. The pecking order was Correa, Turner, Bogaerts, and Swanson.

    Turner got $27.3MM in AAV, Bogaerts got $25.5MM in AAV, so that seems to put Swanson in the $23MM AAV range. That AAV is completely reasonable for him, i.e. 6/$140 or 7/$165.

    The problem is the years now. With Dansby turning 29 soon, no chance AA goes above six years, maybe seven, but there’s none of this 11 year stuff coming from the Braves. So to the extent that Dansby is now out of the Braves price range, it’s due to the length of these contracts for comparable players.

  40. Trading Malloy makes sense this offseason. His value is as high as it could be and he has no position in ATL. Did we use it for the best possible need? I don’t know, but JJ will be worth more to us next year than Malloy was going to be.

  41. @53 — I don’t believe he does. Even in a free agent market that seems to favor players, middle relievers are getting paid in the $6-8 million per year range. Also: One good year, in his entire career. Also also: One more year before FA, so even if he’s great, he’s gone.

    I’m not even like super down on Jimenez as a player or anything. (Or high on Henry-Malloy, for that matter.) It just seems like bad process. The Braves know as well as anyone that relievers are volatile, and you can find quality ones for basically nothing. So I’m unsure why they keep investing serious resources into acquiring them. Is AA just uncomfortable if he doesn’t have a reliever he overpaid for on the roster?

  42. I’m not going to claim to understand AJ Preller, but I don’t see any way to evaluate 11 years/$280 MM as anything but 6 years/$210 MM + $70MM dead money on the books in 6 years. Which means the deal is really $46 MM/year. And my number for Dansby 6/$220 was higher than any of yours. Alex: you thought $140 MM would get it done. I still think 6/$220 MM is “reasonable” for some definition of reasonable. Or he can have 100 years/$220 MM… with the payments all made up front. It’s the same contract.

    @56: this AAV nonsense has to stop. You don’t make players cheaper by hiring them from now to when they’re on Social Security. (I’m not blaming you…. it’s the way people seem to evaluate these things, and it’s nonsense.) Part of it is payroll tax games, of course.

  43. What is up with these 11 year deals for shortstops? If Dansby wants 11 years, no way the Braves are giving him that. As much as I would like a 2015 Vandyboys reunion, with a trade for Reynolds and re-signing Swanson (and Kyle Wright already here).

  44. It’s definitely a luxury tax thing. The player (and agent) wants to be able to say he got a huge top-line number; the team wants the player but doesn’t want to suffer a huge tax hit every year of the contract. Hence, the incentive for both is a very long deal with reasonable annual salaries that add up to the big number.

    I think if there was no luxury tax, you’d see a lot more of what I think of as Dodger deals — enormous annual salaries (like $45-50 million annually) but on very short terms.

  45. I totally get the mindset that says we should be careful with how we spend. It feels like “our” money sometimes. But the goal is to make the team better. It’s much harder to do that with trades now that our system is barren. We’d be trading guys on the 40-man, and rarely does that do anything far away from break-even.

    How do we improve the team when all that’s out there is stupid over-priced free agents? You spend the money. Either that or stop it with the $12 Coors Lites and pass the savings/profit back to the fans (I’ll hold my breath).

  46. At this point I’d just roll with Grissom/Arcia. In no way am I giving a 29 year old a 10 year deal who’s speed is already diminishing.

    Bogaerts has about 3, maybe 4-5 good years left in him, maybe.

    Teams are stupid. I respect them for selling out to win, but it doesn’t make it any less stupid.

  47. I guess my question is whether or not Austin Riley is more valuable than Dansby Swanson. When Riley is Dansby’s age, he’ll be owed $147M (7 years at $21.2 AAV). If you want to just draw your line in the sand and say that they’re not going to give Dansby more than Riley, then so be it. So would Dansby sign basically what the Riley deal becomes when Riley is Dansby’s age (7/$147M)? Surely the Braves would offer that, especially at that AAV.

    With that said, if Dansby gets anywhere close to what Bogaerts got, then I can see why Atlanta won’t bring them back.

  48. The rumor is that the Braves rejected a $140M proposal from the Dansby camp. I feel like some fool team (Cubs cough) is gonna go way beyond that. I’m sure AA has an ace or two up his sleeve. Just hard to imagine what it exactly looks like.

  49. @62 seems right, and @54 is the same reaction I had when I saw the Bogaerts deal. I’m having trouble believing that Swanson would accept literally half the dollar amount that Xander got. It certainly seems like AA waited out the market and the price went up instead of down.

  50. I’d go 7/175 and tell them its my final offer and put a deadline on it. Even that is probably too much for a guy that’s perhaps closer to a .250 hitter than a .300 one. His 162 game avg OPS+ is 95 and his two closest comps are Zach Cozart and Marcus Semien. And that’s for what he’s already done.

    I have zero problem with the Braves being skeptical, here. What I do grumble with, is that we didn’t do something else (yet).

  51. I find it almost unbelievable that the Braves would have rejected $140MM. That would be an absolute steal in light of Turner and Bogaerts. I’m more inclined to believe Dansby rejected $140MM.

  52. Gut feeling, no inside info, but if the Braves wanted to trade for a SS, I feel like they’d be ok dealing any of these guys from the 40-man for the right player:

    •William Contreras
    •Manny Piña
    •Vaughn Grissom
    •Ian Anderson
    •Bryce Elder
    •Mike Soroka
    •Kyle Muller
    •Freddy Tarnok
    •Darius Vines
    •Huascar Ynoa
    •Braden Shewmake
    •Sam Hilliard

    And, obviously, Eddie Rosario or Marcell Ozuna

  53. The problem isn’t that the Braves don’t have any pieces they could potentially dangle. The problem is that every single major league shortstop can be divided into three categories:

    1) Guys who are good enough and/or young enough that they are not getting traded.
    2) Guys who should not be starting on a team that has title aspirations.
    3) Carlos Correa and Dansby Swanson.

    If #3 is too expensive, you’re kind of pinning your hopes on AA pulling a Jedi mind trick on a GM who has a guy in category #1, no?

    It’s easy to say, “Oh, just go get a shortstop.” The problem is, when you start actually trying to figure out specific names, it becomes a lot more complicated. Playing hardball with your departing free agent is a lot more awkward when you don’t have Matt Olson standing around as a cromulent plan B.

    To a lesser extent, the same is true of LF. Go cheap on SS and get a bopper for LF, sure, could work… but who? Specifically? You’re kind of in the Michael Brantley or Andrew Benintendi territory there, guys who could certainly help a good team but aren’t really anyone’s idea of a savior.

  54. @71 It just depends on what you mean by #2. As mentioned, we could definitely get Javy Baez on a bad contract swap. He was a 2 fWAR player last year, though a disappointment based on his contract. A contending team could definitely get by with a 2 fWAR SS.

  55. I’d be good with Javy Baez, FWIW. Especially if he’s more El Mago in the field than he was last year which was bad. FWIW his career OPS+ is 8% higher than Swanson’s.

    Comps are Carlos Correa and Schoop.

  56. Do y’all remember when we lost Brian McCann to the Yankees? 5/$85 MM for a guy a hair older than Dansby at, admittedly, a much more challenging position physically. The Yankees got three pretty good years out of him and then ate about 1/3rd of the remaining value.

    $85 MM. The good old days. That wasn’t ancient history. It was 8 years ago.

  57. Amazing that Jason Heyward just signed a minor league deal. Sad his career ended the way it did.

    Aside from SS, you can see why AA has been so hellbent on locking up his core. The teams who are trying to make a push and fill their roster with that one missing piece — including the Phillies, the Padres, the Mets, and the Giants, even if the Giants haven’t yet landed any of their whales — are paying truly extraordinary prices. I am super happy for all of these players for getting paid lifechanging money, and I don’t shed a single tear for any team owner being forced to open up their wallet a little wider than before.

    In AA I trust.

  58. To a lesser extent, the same is true of LF. Go cheap on SS and get a bopper for LF, sure, could work… but who? Specifically? You’re kind of in the Michael Brantley or Andrew Benintendi territory there, guys who could certainly help a good team but aren’t really anyone’s idea of a savior.

    This too. You’re kind of forgetting that if we struck out on Dansby, there isn’t a massive amount of assets to pull from. We’d still have $25M, and we could easily justify trading Grissom, Contreras, Muller, Shuster and Shewmake without affecting who we have penciled in as starters for 2023 (assuming Pina would be the backup C in that scenario). Because that’s the thing with Grissom and Contreras; they need to have a position somewhere or they need to go. They’re not going to turn into Ben Zobrist under Snit’s watch.

    For instance:

    Ozuna + money for Baez
    Grissom/Muller/Tarnok for Reynolds
    Contreras/Shuster for Sean Murphy

    That team is absolutely stacked for 2023:

    DH – Murphy/d’Arnaud/Rosario



    Iglesias, McHugh, Jimenez, Chavez, Yates, Minter, Lee

    There may not be a better team in baseball than the one I just rosterbated. Ok, done with rosterbating for the offseason.

  59. Why couldn’t Grissom be a supersub, though? He’s already played SS/2B/LF, and I’m sure he could spell Riley at 3B in a pinch. That’s the role I see for him in the organization. He could be someone else’s second baseman, but for us, I’d just file him under “Betemit.”

  60. The $140M rumor was during the season – to clarify. The point is if we balked at that, then what are we gonna do with the bigger numbers. He’s a Cub or a Red Sox unless we do something out of character. Should we? I dunno. I keep going back and forth. Signing him just keeps us treading water, but at least we get predictability. Going with Arcia/Grissom/Andrus/etc is most likely a big downgrade, and we still have to try to make it up in other areas like LF. There’s no free agents other than Nimmo that are even that good, and we have nothing to trade. I wouldn’t trade Contreras given how likely it is for TDA to miss time. Hell, put Contreras in LF and let’s go.

  61. I would certainly put Baez in #2. He just has so much downside potential, and is so expensive. I want the team to spend, but on guys who, you know, can actually help. Like, the low end on Baez is “$122 million over five years for a guy who is literally not worth rostering, much less starting.”

    I also think the Pirates are taking a bath on that Reynolds trade, but I never feel like teams get enough when they trade their cost-controlled young talent, so maybe I’m off on that.

  62. @71
    See Matt Olson. Braves could do a trade for a SS that’s a 3-4 WAR player with 2-3 guys listed @70.

  63. @80 I’d love to have Brian Reynolds but if the Braves wanted to pull off that trade they would’ve held onto Malloy so he could’ve gone to Pittsburgh. Trading away Malloy basically says to me that whether or not we were in negotiations for Reynolds up to this point, we no longer are.

    I think the Braves as currently constituted have to be the favorites in the NL East. I don’t think we need to do anything else, and would rather see the Braves not spend crazy money on Dansby or Correa. I’d prefer the team do what they can to get good value out of all the guys who underperformed last year – Albies, Acuna, Rosario, Ozuna, (arguably) Morton – and give Grissom every chance to develop, whether that’s as a supersub on the Braves or SS in Gwinnett.

  64. Dansby seems like a guy who would accept less to stay in Atlanta, more so than Freddie even. Sadly, we screwed around for too long and he is gonna get way more than he would have accepted if offered. Prepared for him to be a cub by the end of the week.

  65. @79, I think Snit’s open to platooning based on the need. Olson and Riley never get days off. But d’Arnaud played basically half-time and the LF outfield rotation show that Snit can be quite flexible when needed.

    Outside of catcher, I think he basically has a binary view of players as “starters” and “part-time players.” Except in special cases, starters don’t really get off days. So a “supersub” would basically be a guy who could fill in at any position that doesn’t have a starter, or that is vacated due to injury. Given the black hole in LF, and the likelihood that one of the other five non-catcher position players will lose time to injury, I think it’s useful.

    Basically, he’s a better-hitting (and possibly worse-fielding) Adrianza.

  66. @81 no. Minter is one of two lefties. He’s going nowhere no matter how many righties we acquire.

    @76 I think a major league piece would be required in a Reynolds deal. Your trades may need to swap Contreras and Grissom. But the end result would be the same. Pirates are actively looking for catchers. Maybe a three way deal between the As and Pirates where we can keep either Contreras or Grissom…… We get Reynolds and Contreras and Pirates get Murphy and As get Grissom (both get additional SP pieces).

  67. @83 I agree with bravesword here because there’s really not an elite SS available in a trade right now.

    @80 I disagree with bravesword here and he’s wrong and he sucks. Just kidding. But in all seriousness, Baez was still a 2 fWAR SS last year. You’re definitely overstating his decline. Plus, he’s playing in Detroit. Weather, sucky team, you would have to think that he’d be better in Atlanta, especially with this bunch.

  68. The thing that has always scared me about Baez is that, historically, he swings and misses so much that he’s always a hairsbreadth from being unplayable. Think Joey Gallo in New York last year, or how quickly Mark Reynolds went from a starting player to a bench player. Looks like he actually significantly improved his contact rate last year, but it wasn’t good contact, and he still never walks.

  69. Who’s gonna play SS in San Diego? That’s dumb.

    EDIT: Forgot Tatis also played OF. My bad.

  70. All of Baez’s value last year came from his glove. He’s walking a razor’s edge right now — if his defense declines at all as he moves into his thirties and his bat doesn’t bounce back, he has essentially no meaningful skills. It’s one thing to take a chance on that kind of profile and bet on the rebound if it’s low risk, but again, five years, $122 million. That’s one hell of a sunk cost if it doesn’t work out.

    (Not that I think the Braves are seriously contemplating this if they’re not in on one of the free agent shortstops. If that was something they were into, they could have traded Swanson last offseason and signed Baez as a free agent.)

  71. The easiest way to solve the shortstop problem is to trade Contrearas to the Yankees for Oswald Peraza (they seem to prefer Volpe as their ss of the future). They would need to throw in another piece but this helps both teams as they are desperate for a catcher who can hit (Trevino is a good catch and throw guy).
    Grissom can become supersub/pinch hitter and work on his uppercut swing some more.

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