I love Kimbrel. Who doesn’t? But there wasn’t going to be much to save for the Braves this year, or next. And he’s guaranteed $33 million over the next three years.
Melvin Junior was due roughly $46 million.
The Braves take on a couple of bad, but not crippling contracts, in Carlos Quentin ($8 mil this year, $3 mil buyout for ’16) and Cameron Maybin ($15 mil guaranteed over the next two years, $1 mil buyout in ’17). Maybin was once a top talent, and Quentin had some nice years in Chicago but neither has done much in recent years. Maybe the Braves get lucky with one or both. But it doesn’t really matter — the Braves have saved $50 million.
AND … they picked up San Diego’s top prospect, RHP Matt Wisler, who will be a Brave before season’s end, if not right way.
Ohio native Matt Wisler looks every bit a future rotation anchor. In 20 AA starts last season, Wisler struck out almost exactly one batter per inning while walking barely more than one per game. That’s exactly the sort of performance that the control-obsessed Padres love to see, and it’s enough to put him in the mix for MLB consideration in mid-to-late 2014.
Wisler works a couple of different low-90’s fastballs with accuracy to both sides of the plate, but it’s his slow curve that turns heads and misses bats most often. How he’ll perform against better opponents is an open question, but if he continues his careful, clever approach while trusting his stuff, he should succeed.
Hart also acquired an actual bat, Jordan Paroubeck, a switch-hitting OF selected by the Pads in the 2nd round of the 2013 draft. He put up solid numbers in rookie ball last year but is probably three years away from making it to the bigs.
The Braves also receive the 41st overall pick in this June’s draft.
I didn’t like the Markakis signing and wonder if he got enough for J-Up but, in one offseason, Hart has unloaded B.J., transformed the farm system from the bottom five to the top five and saved a boatload of money. My faith is renewed.