We still don't know the final details of the rumored blockbuster trade involving the Braves, Dodgers and Marlins, but we have a pretty good idea. The Braves would acquire Hector Olivera, Zack Bird, Paco Rodriguez and the 34th pick in next year's draft. The cost would be Alex Wood, Jose Peraza, Jim Johnson and Luis Avilan.
It's important to note there are still medical records to be checked out and this is far from a done deal. But if it does go down as all the reports suggest, I really have no idea what the Braves are trying to do.
From the day John Hart took over, it's been all about 2017.
Have the best, most competitive team possible for 2017.
Try to win now, but 2017 is the ultimate goal.
That's when the team moves to Cobb County. That's when the Braves want to be good.
First, some background on Hector Olivera: the Braves loved him coming out of Cuba. He proved to be too expensive, signing a 6-year deal worth $62 million with LA. $28 million of that is a signing bonus the Dodgers are responsible for; the Braves will have to pay the Cuban infielder approximately $33 million through 2020.
All scouting reports say Olivera can really hit. And regardless of him playing 2B or 3B down the road, he is likely an upgrade over Jace Peterson and/or Chris Johnson.
Here's the problem: Olivera is already 30 years old. He has a bad elbow that may require Tommy John Surgery. And he's still never faced big league pitching consistently. He's currently on the DL for a tweaked hamstring. There are mixed reports on his defensive abilities, too.
In 2017, Olivera will be 32 years old. Or so his medical records say. He's certainly not younger than that, though he could be older. He will be 35 in the final year of his deal.
If the Braves are focused on 2017 and beyond – and every move they've made since October suggests they are – then why do this now?
Olivera will be well past his prime when the team will (hopefully) be competitive again.
Rodriguez nor Bird present a high-upside arm for the organization.
The draft pick is a total wild card.
Considering what it cost, I just don't get it. Alex Wood is very cheap, young and good. There are health concerns, but what pitcher in baseball doesn't have health concerns? Jose Peraza, 21, is a top-100 talent. Jim Johnson was one of the more desirable relievers on the trade market this week. Luis Avilan has bounced back nicely after a bad 2014.
All of this for a 30-year-old Cuban infielder who has serious health concerns and is yet to play in the big leagues, a middle reliever, an unexciting pitching prospect, and a draft pick.
This was an overpay by the Braves and goes against everything they've worked towards since changing the front office. I don't get it.