John Hart may never make a better trade

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.

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15 thoughts on “John Hart may never make a better trade

  1. I’m with you. I thought they’d hold off trading Kimbrel until the pennant races were established. But shit, when the Padres offered to take Upton AND offer two good prospects, you can’t do any better than that.

  2. My long-term hope for success is raised, but I hope now the front office will make one more public announcement and admit that the “we’re going to be scrappy competitors” ruse is just that, and finally start being honest. This is a rebuild. Getting rid of Melvin cuts down the timeframe in which in must be done a bit, but it’s still a rebuild.
    Padres tickets are going to be selling like crazy this year, and no matter what they do at this point, Braves ticket sales will plummet.

  3. love it ,,,and the bundle made 100% sense,,,,maybin is Melvin light but a tad cheaper I guess

  4. I hope you are right. Nothing turns a .500 team into a last place team like blowing late leads.

  5. Yeah I think .500 would have been asking a lot of the team prior to this trade. I’m definitely willing to sacrifice a year, especially if we can have Wisler be an anchor in the rotation next year, Ruiz turn into a solid 3rd baseman, and Peraza become a stud at 2nd base. That would make next year look much more promising…just need to figure the CF and LF situations out at that point…

    Definitely a good job by Hart though; pretty much cleared out all of Wren’s bad decisions.

  6. $46M vs $16M. Still, it’s a lot of savings! (Quentin salary about $11M after buyout)

    I hate that the Braves have to make trades like this to clean up after bad contracts while Yankees just eat the sunk cost.

  7. No matter what, this offseason still hurts. Ultimately because of a stupid hire in Frank Wren, you have had to jettison current & future star Braves in Hayward and Kimbrel because you could not afford Heyward because of the Uggla and Upton contracts and then you had to trade Kimbrel so you could get rid of Upton. Yes the farm system was restocked, but it only sucked because of Wren. Imagine a better GM in 2010/2011…BC is on the way out gracefully, you continue to draft well, keep you system stocked, you dont sign albatrosses like BJ and Uggla, your better off both performance wise and financially and you are able to sign Heyward long term and the same with the other guys as we did. We would probably be looking at perennial contenders. But alas, we are looking at a rebuild, hoping for a better future, and getting to watch studs like Kimbrel and Hayward go on to/continue in superstar status with other teams and say, hey…we use to have them on our team. Sucks. Gonna probably have to see returns from our new farm system before I can start to feel better.

  8. I mostly agree. But to say Heyward has been a superstar is a stretch. He’s been great defensively and pedestrian with the bat. Even in the alternate reality, I don’t think you give Heyward a big extension until after this season if he has a good year. It’s curious to me how everyone loves J-Hey but mostly bitched about Andruw. Andruw was every bit as good defensively, never missed a game, and was a far better hitter than J-Hey. Yet to many Braves fans he was a fat, lazy underachiever. J-Hey’s great with the glove, has missed chunks of two seasons, puts up mediocre offensive numbers and yet everybody loves him and he’s the superstar we let get away. What am I missing? I’m not glad he’s gone. No way. And maybe he fulfills his promise eventually. But I still don’t think it’s clear just what kind of hitter he is.

  9. I think educated Braves fans respect Andruw, though I don’t think he realized his full potential. He was washed up by the time he was 31, rarely playing the field once he left Atlanta. A Braves Hall of Famer, for sure, and a strong case can be made for Cooperstown. There’d be no debate had he taken better care of himself.

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