Nine who got away: #1, Adam Wainwright

Before the Adam Wainwright deal, the Braves typically guessed right about which pitching prospects to trade. Bruce Chen, Odalis Perez, Luis Rivera and Rob Bell were all considered top prospects but none fulfilled their potential (the exception being Jason Schmidt). Meanwhile, Wainwright has exceeded expectations. In 2006 he stepped up as the Cards’ closer, pitching…

Nine who got away: #2, Andre Thornton

Trading Andre Thornton for Joe Pepitone was the most short-sighted deal the Braves ever made. Their rationale? Pepitone might put a few extra butts in the seats. He ended up playing three games for the Braves before departing to Japan. Thornton was 23 at the time of the trade. The Braves had acquired him from…

Nine who got away: #3, Neftali Feliz

Seven years ago I met 17-year-old Neftali Feliz at the Braves’ Dominican Academy in San Francisco de Marcoris. Special assistant to the GM Jose Martinez told me if there was one prospect who was a sure thing, it was Neftali. Even then he looked the part, with a lean, solid frame, oversized hands and a…

Nine who got away: #4, Mickey Rivers

It’s hard for us to bemoan the 1969 trade of Mickey Rivers to California for 46-year-old Hoyt Wilhelm. Our namesake may have never gotten the chance to play in Atlanta had the Braves not made that short-sighted move. Rowland, drafted one year after Rivers, would’ve had a tough time beating out Mick the Quick, who…

Nine who got away: #5, Elvis Andrus

Elvis might rank higher if he hadn’t sat out a game last week with tattoo-related soreness. Not that I wouldn’t want him back with the Braves. Andrus was 18 when JS, apparently thinking the franchise was set at shortstop with Yesco, dealt him to Texas. Fortunately Andrelton Simmons came along, ¬†saving us from the Tyler…

Nine who got away: #6, Duane Ward

Duane Ward was exactly what the Braves needed in 1992 and ’93. Had he been in the ‘pen Atlanta would’ve likely won the World Series each year. Then again, those Braves teams would’ve probably not reached the postseason if not for John Smoltz, acquired from Detroit for the same pitcher, Doyle Alexander, received in the…

Nine who got away: #7, Matt Harrison

Matt Harrison has as many victories the last two seasons as Tim Hudson. The Texas southpaw finished third in the AL in wins and pitcher WAR and seventh in ERA and IP last year. He sure would look good in the Braves rotation (Medlen, Harrison, Huddy, Minor …). Hard to believe Harrison was considered the…

Nine who got away: #8, Brook Jacoby

He’s the other guy in one of the worst trades in Braves history. Brett Butler, who won’t be included on this list because he no longer qualified as a rookie when he left Atlanta, gets all the attention, but Brook Jacoby was a solid third sacker with the Indians ¬†for much of the 1980s, a…

Nine who got away: #9, Tommy Greene

The Braves have been judicious about which prospects they keep and which they trade (think Melvin Nieves). But there are exceptions. This list includes players who still qualified as rookies after they left Atlanta. 9. Tommy Greene. Traded to Phils with Murph for Jeff Parrett. Trading Murph for scraps wasn’t the worst thing about Bobby’s…