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the new Atlanta Braves dilemma is this: who to trade?

Ben has just given you a run-down of all the prospects of the Braves – 125 of them.  Now here’s the question:  which ones are you willing to part with?

It’s the perennial question for every team:  prospects or parades?  Which members of your future are you willing to consider seeing thrive on other clubs in order for your team to win?  The Atlanta Braves are now facing these questions head-on… and getting correct answers is vital for their future.

First – in case you might have missed it – here are the write-ups:  a report on all 125 prospects in the Braves’ system… and other than the Braves themselves, nobody has a list this deep.

First, let’s contrast the Top 30 on MLB Pipeline to those on Ben’s chart along with [Ben’s Ranking]:

  • 1 Mike Soroka RHP [1]
  • 2 Kyle Wright RHP [6]
  • 3 Ian Anderson RHP [2]
  • 4 Touki Toussaint RHP [4]
  • 5 Austin Riley 3B [8]
  • 6 Cristian Pache CF/OF [3]
  • 7 Luiz Gohara LHP [9]
  • 8 Drew Waters OF [10]
  • 9 Kolby Allard LHP [11]
  • 10 Bryse Wilson RHP [7]
  • 11 Joey Wentz LHP [14]
  • 12 Kyle Muller LHP [12]
  • 13 William Contreras C [5]
  • 14 Greson Jenista OF [13]
  • 15 Tristen Beck RHP [15]
  • 16 Trey Riley RHP [23]
  • 17 Derian Cruz 2B [42]
  • 18 Freddy Tarnok RHP [17]
  • 19 Thomas Burrows LHP [30]
  • 20 Huascar Ynoa RHP [16]
  • 21 Patrick Weigel RHP [18]
  • 22 Travis Demeritte OF [33]
  • 23 Isranel Wilson OF [22]
  • 24 Tucker Davidson LHP [29]
  • 25 Jasseel De La Cruz RHP [27]
  • 26 Ricardo Sanchez LHP [21]
  • 27 Alex Jackson C [26]
  • 28 Josh Graham RHP [44]
  • 29 Jacob Webb RHP [34]
  • 30 Drew Lugbauer C [40]

Overall, the MLB Pipeline seems to have an improved list from what they’ve produced for the Braves over the past couple of years, and they do – at least – seem to recognize the depth of the system.

Accordingly, Bryse Wilson (their #10) is a member of their Top 100 overall prospects at #96 – giving the Braves 10 members of that group.  That said, Ben would clearly place William Contreras among that elite list, as he believes Contreras is being significantly overlooked by many.

 

So Who Could You Do Without?

Well, that depends a lot on who you might be pursuing this off-season.  Here’s some examples:

  • BRYCE HARPER – If the Braves were to shock the world and sign him, that would clearly be for a long-term deal, thus leaving prospects like Waters and Jenista as expendable pieces for trade bait.

  • MANNY MACHADO – While I’ve expressed some opinions about acquiring him, the Braves will make up their own minds.  Getting him immediately puts Austin Riley into the Friend Zone and thus subject to a possible trade elsewhere.
  • JT REALMUTO – Contreras will likely see a lot of AA ball this year, so he’s not ML-ready, but any deal for Realmuto would likely have Contreras’ name deep in the conversation.  That’s a tricky bit, for to make such a trade viable, Atlanta would want to get Realmuto extended – otherwise it’s 2 years and done, which would be the point at which Contreras’ window opens.
  • PITCHING – I don’t really need to repeat the list above, but Atlanta has upwards of six Top 100 players on the list.  Clearly Atlanta would have to put at least 2 of those names on the table for any premium trade deal, so would you part with Mike Soroka in a deal?  Ian Anderson?  Somebody else?

This gets into a fascinating area of baseball:  the part where your scouting departments really earn their keep by ‘knowing’ who they can blossom into a productive major leaguer and who might not.  Of course that also applies to the scouting efforts of our trade partners.

So part of this effort today is to soften the blow of what’s likely to come.  Alex Anthopoulos is ready to make deals.  Premium prospects will be involved.  Fans will be outraged.  Other fans will be elated.

Next: Oh.. and What do we need exactly?

Part of me doesn’t even want to know all of this information about these guys, because ‘ignorance is bliss’.  Yet we’re likely about a month away from the point that somebody blows a whistle and suddenly … the rush will begin.

 

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