Good start last night on consolidating my psychic gains. This team sure seems to have an energy it lacked during the Fredi portion of the season. It’s not all Fredi’s fault, of course. Peterson, Freeman, Garcia, even Aybar have hit much better lately. The pen’s been excellent and the defense has improved.
Trade talk is starting. Baseball players have a dream job, surely. Still it’s kind of weird that employers can command someone to leave their current job and go work for a competing employer, and the employee in many cases has no say in the matter. The workers can quit and take their chances in more mundane sectors of the labor market. But the money in baseball can be princely and the benefits are excellent.
Anyway, here’s a quick rundown on whom I think the Braves should consider trading or not. I haven’t conducted any thoroughgoing analysis, so please no indignant rants about peripherals and FIP and such. Thankfully we don’t get much of that up in the Office.
Teheran: NO. He’s a No. 1/2 starter who will make an average of about $7.5 million a year for the next three season, and he’s 25. And I like him, and a lot of fans like him. We’ve taken enough kicks in the nada the past couple of years. Don’t trade Julio unless you get a good, cheap young major league hitter and at least one truly elite near MLB-ready pitching prospect. If that’s unlikely, then keep him. If Coppy, et al aim to contend in a couple years, and let’s hope they do, there’s surely no one else in the org who’s likely to be a No. 1 starter in 2018.
Freeman: HELL NO. Losing Freddie would be a double front drop kick in the nads. “Build” is 72 percent of “rebuild.” A good, affordable piece who’s as close as we have to a franchise face seems a reasonable fella to keep around. We damn sure don’t have any other middle-of-the-order hitters banging on the big league door.
Vizcaino: Not unless you get a big return. Some blithely suggest you can turn any old pitching prospect into a closer. Eh, I’m not so sure. Harking back to Julio and Freddie, you have a few good pieces in place. Don’t we continue building at some point, and stop ripping out pieces for other pieces that might or might not be better?
Inciarte: No. Same thing. Good, affordable young player.
Johnson: Yes, but only if the return is reasonable. Don’t just dump him for some team’s 120th best prospect.
Adonis: Yes. Again, though, don’t just give him away. He’s on a nice little run, and it may well be the best week he’ll ever have as a big leaguer. So if he’ll fetch a kid with any upside, then do it.
The last few are obvious. That’s all the time and energy I have for now. Please let us know what you think about tradable Bravos. I’m sure there are other players who’ll be discussed. I just think if this club keeps playing decent ball for a reasonable stretch — say, another 40 games — it’d be a pisser to see their engine ripped out in exchange for a few fringe middle relievers who are in A ball.
I like the home nine’s chances to win at least one more in this series. The pitching match ups are not particularly favorable, of course, save for Julio vs. deGrom, which is about a wash. Still, I think the Braves get another W or two this weekend. Mets aren’t hitting a lot, though Cespedes’ return tonight should help them. Blair vs. Matz tonight, then Norris v Old Man Colon (I’ll admit I like watching the guy) before Julio toes the slab in the finale.
Tonight’s lineup: Peterson, Inciarte, Freddie, Francoeur, Markakis, Garcia, Flowers, Aybar, Blair.