The Braves have reportedly been searching for an ace over the last few weeks.
Jaime Garcia is far from an ace, but he is an intriguing buy-low candidate that fits in with Atlanta's plan for 2017: be competitive without mortgaging the future.
I like this trade quite a bit.
Garcia is a better pitcher than he showed in 2016. His homer rate skyrocketed; after allowing 49 homers over 708 during his first six seasons, he gave up 26 in 171 innings last year. Regression is probably coming, and that's a good thing for the Braves. Garcia historically limits his walks while striking out a fair number of hitters, all while keeping the ball on the ground. Those are all things you want from your pitchers.
Health is will be a question, but when he's healthy and going right, he's a legitimate No. 3 starter at a reasonable $12 million price tag.
The cost was minimal. For the second time this week -- the other being the Alex Jackson trade with Seattle -- the Braves used their plethora of pitching prospects to add a quality piece.
Chris Ellis and John Gant are a dime a dozen. Both will probably end up being middle relief pitchers or 5th starters. Ellis got lit up at Gwinnett last year, while Gant struggled mightily in the big leagues while showing flashes of potential with his big curveball. Luke Dykstra is an organizational depth kind of guy.
John Coppolella didn't have to surrender any of his big chips to make the trade happen, and he still has plenty of firepower should he want to do something bigger.
Steamer projects Jaime Garcia to be worth 2.4 WAR over 140 innings next year. That seems reasonable given his track record. That would be something the Braves would take all day.
A rotation of Julio Teheran, Mike Foltynewicz, Jaime Garcia, Bartolo Colon and R.A. Dickey (or Matt Wisler or Aaron Blair) isn’t going to win a World Series, but it will do what the Braves want it to do.
For a minimal cost and little downside, this trade seems like a win for the Braves.