clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

A look at the recent trading history between the Braves and Diamondbacks

The Braves and Diamodnbacks have linked up for four trades in the past few years, including three this year. It probably won't be a huge stretch to say that the Braves have received way more value in these deals than the Diamondbacks.

Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

The Atlanta Braves and the Arizona Diamondbacks have become well-acquainted with each other as trading partners over this past year, and that's not to mention a huge trade that they did in 2013 as well. Now, when teams get together on multiple occaisons, normally it's to do deals that are of mutual benefit to each other. With that being said, even a quick glance at most of the Braves/D-Backs deals can show you that maybe the Diamondbacks just need to stop fielding calls from the Braves altogether.

January 2013: The Justin Upton Trade

Ah, 2013. A magical time when the Braves were a contender and the Diamondbacks were in the muck and mire of the Kevin Towers era. The Braves were coming off of an appearance in the infamous 2012 Wild Card Game, while the D-Backs finished their 2012 at 81-81, which was a huge dropoff from their NL West Championship season in 2011. The Braves were looking to reload in order to take a serious shot at winning in 2013, while Towers was looking to add the most important of all attributes in baseball: Grit. Apparently, Justin Upton didn't have enough of this, so the Diamondbacks shopped him around, found a willing partner in the Braves, and ended up sending Upton and Chris Johnson to Atlanta in exchange for Martin Prado, Randall Delgado, Nick Ahmed, Zeke Spruill, and Brandon Drury.

In the short-term, the Braves made out like bandits in this deal. Upton and Johnson became quality contributors to a Braves team that ended up winning the NL East in 2013. Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks got solid production out of Prado during his time in Arizona, but he never reached the levels that he reached while in Atlanta. Meanwhile, Randall Delgado's attributes didn't fit well with Chase Field, so he never really took off in Arizona. Nick Ahmed is a decent major leaguer, but that's probably his ceiling. Zeke Spruill's ceiling appears to be "mop-up reliever." Brandon Drury could potentially be a gem for the Diamondbacks, but success from Drury alone probably wouldn't be enough to tip the scales in favor of Arizona.

Plus, when you add in that the Braves were able to get an impressive haul for Justin Upton once they traded him to kick off their own rebuild, it makes it pretty clear that the Braves got way more value out of this initial trade than did Arizona.

April 2015: The Trevor Cahill Trade

The next deal that these two teams did was a relatively minor one. The Diamondbacks sent Trevor Cahill and $6.5 MM to Atlanta in exchange for OF prospect Josh Elander. Cahill had an absolutely atrocious time in Atlanta, as he ended up tallying a 7.52 ERA and a 4.43 FIP over 15 appearances and was promptly released on June 19th of this year. If the Trevor Cahill that showed up on the North side of Chicago showed up for Atlanta, then this would probably end up being another win for the Braves over the Diamondbacks. Instead, we'll have to wait and see if Josh Elander becomes a productive major leaguer. If that's the case, then the Diamondbacks will have gotten the better of the Braves in this deal.

June 2015: The Touki Toussaint Sale

With that being said, the next two deals that the Diamondbacks did with the Braves may end up going down in history as two of the most lopsided trades in recent memory. First, there's the deal that sent former Arizona top pick Touki Toussaint to Atlanta in exchange for cash considerations, Bronson Arroyo, and Phil Gosselin. Now, let's get this out of the way: Phil Gosselin is a perfectly-serviceable major league baseball player. With that being said, what we've seen from the Goose is probably his peak, and while that's fine for him, it's not fine for a team to trade one of the top prospects in baseball for. This was highway robbery on the Braves' part, and you know it was bad when the entire baseball world was sent into an uproar, and one writer even pondered about whether or not the Commissioner of Baseball himself should've gotten involved and stopped the trade from happening. That is the sign of a gargantuan fleece job.

If Touki Toussaint is even just simply a good major league pitcher, then the Braves will come out as winners of this deal by a 100 miles. Shoot, just the simple fact that the Atlanta Braves, in the year 2015, basically bought a top-100 prospect from another major league baseball team is absolutely absurd. That's how bad this trade could potentially be for the Diamondbacks in the long run.

December 2015: The Shelby Miller Trade

As if that wasn't enough, we have last night's deal to think about now. While there's no arguing that Shelby Miller will definitely improve the Diamondbacks rotation and give Arizona a solid one-two punch of Zack Greinke and Miller at the top of their rotation, it could be argued that the Diamondbacks massively overpaid for the luxury of having that one-two punch.

If the deal had been Miller-for-Ender Inciarte alone, then it would've been a pretty fair deal. According to f(angraphs)WAR, the two players are equal. According to b(aseball reference)WAR, Inciarte is actually better than Miller by a solid two WAR. Either way, a one-for-one deal here would've been fair.

However, John Coppolella and co. somehow managed to convince Dave Stewart and co. that this wouldn't be enough, and managed to grab Dansby Swanson (the #1 overall pick in last year's draft) and Aaron Blair (a potentially MLB-ready starter in 2016) as well. That is an absolutely absurd return for the Braves, and proof that if you have a chance to sell high on someone, do it. There's always a chance that the Diamondbacks aren't done with their offseason dealings, but right now, it looks as if they've gotten fleeced yet again by the Braves.

★★★

At this point, the Diamondbacks should really consider blocking any phone calls, text messages, e-mails, or snail mail that comes from the Atlanta metro area. In all but one of the four deals that the Braves have done with Arizona over the past couple of years, the Braves have picked up significantly more value from these deals than the Diamondbacks. Will our friends in the desert be complaining much if the latest deal ends up being one of the keys to them potentially becoming a legit contender in the fall? No. However, the fact that we're talking about these past two deals being key for the Braves potentially becoming a contender in the long run (say, from 2018 and beyond) is saying something.

It's saying one clear thing: The Diamondbacks should stop answering the phone when the Braves call. Otherwise, Atlanta is going to keep on clearing Arizona's cupboard, and we're going to keep on having grand dreams of seeing once-prized prospects enjoying wild success in Cobb County.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Battery Power Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Atlanta Braves news from Battery Power