I doubt anyone was naive enough to believe the Braves were going to add significant payroll this offseason — today’s trade of Carlos Quentin to the Padres is further proof that if there is a hike, it’ll likely be measured in pennies.
San Diego’s new GM Josh Byrnes swapped pocket lint for Quentin, a right-handed hitter whose .838 OPS in 2011 would’ve led the Braves. The two minor league pitchers sent to Chicago (Ken Williams is running neck-and-neck with Billy Beane for the title of Worst GM Who Was Once Respected) barely register as prospects.
Neither prospect was ranked among the top 25 in San Diego’s system by John Sickels of Minor League Ball while Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus had Castro tabbed at No. 20. Goldstein writes that Castro has “gone backwards from [his] big prospect days” and cites the fastball as his only dependable pitch.
I’d rather have Alexei Ramirez than Quentin but that ain’t happening , not unless the Braves free up resources by trading Jurrjens or Prado. What we see is likely what we’ll get in 2012, which isn’t bad, but not good enough.
I repeat: Teams with playoff aspirations don’t head into the season with Tyler Pastornicky at SS.