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Talking Chop MiLB Roundtable: Trade Bait and Untouchables

The Braves probably aren’t ready to trade Drew Waters yet. But I hope I scared you a little

Photo Credit: Garrett Spain

It’s time to get serious. It’s time to drop names. Who should the Braves be unwilling to part with and what players should they look to move if they want to make a splash on the trade market. What’s more, is there even a player they have that is good enough that they shouldn’t be willing to use them as trade bait?.

If the Braves do make a trade, which top prospects would you be most willing to part with and which do you think the Braves should hold onto whether it be because they are “untouchables” or they have a greater value to the team than the market?

Wayne: Like I said above, if the price is right, I don’t think the Braves have that prospect that cannot be touched. You’d like to think Ian Anderson is untouchable, but here’s what we’ve seen so far: prospects like Kolby Allard and Bryse Wilson, and even Touki Toussaint, were hurried (in my opinion) to big league roles and did not look good. That diminishes their trade value. With Anderson, you still have a lot of mystery and prospect, so his value is still high. Now, with half of baseball making the playoffs this year, the question is would you get the value in return you need to trade an Ian Anderson? I don’t know that you would.

Gaurav: With the pure amount of questions in the rotation I don’t think anyone, maybe outside of Pache, is untouchable. Again, the talent on the field and in the bullpen is stout but the rotation is limiting their opportunities to succeed so if you can bring in proven major league caliber starting pitching you have to entertain the offers.

Aaron: I think anyone outside Pache should be available. Drew Waters likely has the most value followed by William Contreras, Shea Langeliers and Ian Anderson. I would probably trade Waters while his value is high. His swing and miss rate scares me. I don’t want another Austin Riley situation. Remember, Riley raked in the minors too but carried a big strikeout rate. Water’s K-rate has been higher from High A to AAA and he hasn’t shown much power outside gap power for doubles. The Braves aren’t likely to trade Contreras and/or Langeliers, but either would likely bring good value in a big trade. But if the Braves do move some of the top prospects it better be for an everyday bat. Pitching is just too volatile.

Matt: I wouldn’t trade Cristian Pache, William Contreras, or Michael Harris. Pache is potentially special, Contreras a potentially elite catcher, and Harris just isn’t a guy other teams have seen this year so getting equal return for this potentially special player isn’t an option. You probably don’t trade Ian Anderson as well, but it’s hard to say definitely not depending on the return. Everyone else is available depending on the return, from Drew Waters, Shea Langeliers, Kyle Muller, and so on. Not saying move them to move them, but if a useful longterm piece is there you have to. Waters is mostly available because with an Acuña, Pache, and Harris outfield the team has an extra outfielder. Langeliers is behind Contreras for me, and Travis d’Arnaud has looked great this season. Muller has a ton of upside, but to get a pitcher you may have to give a pitcher.

Eric: There is not a single prospect I would not trade, although to trade Pache, Waters, Harris, Contreras, or Langeliers, the return would have to be pretty significant. The Braves have a ton of starting pitching prospects, but as we have seen...nothing is a given with young pitchers and if you can trade a pitching prospect or two to get a starter that will help you now, there shouldn’t be much hesitation except on minor details.

Garrett: The short answer is that everyone in this system is tradeable. The preference is of course to move odds and ends, but if moving a couple of those top players gets you an established big league player with 3-4 years of control then it’s 100% worth it. I’d move any of the arms without hesitation, not because I don’t like them but because we’ve seen first hand how maddening pitching prospects are and how little true value they have. You want to hold on to as many bats as possible, especially the guys without a ton of true exposure to raise their value (Harris, Grissom, Backstrom), but whatever needs to happen to make this team better should. I doubt there will be serious trade action this season, but if there is I would expect to see the Braves being one of those teams trying to beef up the roster for now and the future.

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