Well, look at it this way: The Braves are bound to have a number of discount and family nights at Turner Field next season.
There’s goes Evan Gattis. He follows the same worn path out of town as Jason Heyward and Justin Upton. After trading the good two-thirds of his starting outfield, Braves president John Hart completed — I’m assuming — his radical makeover of the team’s every day lineup Wednesday by dealing catcher/outfielder Evan Gattis to the Houston Astros for (… wait for it …) prospects.
This is another trade for the future. And by future I don’t mean next season. Well, Freddie Freeman will still be there, as will some Andrelton Simmons and some pretty good starting pitchers and a great closer. But don’t set the bar too high on wins, or runs, because you might be disappointed.
The Braves’ have relatively been stripped down as part of the organization’s post-Frank Wren rebuilding project. They are now without their Nos. 1, 3 and 5 (Upton, Gattis, Heyward) home run hitters from the 2014 season, their Nos. 1, 3 and 5 (Upton, Heyward, Gattis) RBI men from last year, and their Nos. 2, 3, and 4 (Upton, Gattis, Heyward) OPS players from a year ago. (OPS is a combination of on-base and slugging percentage.)
Recapping the winter:
• Gattis, who was tentatively projected as the starting left fielder with rookie Christian Bethancourt taking over as catcher, will go to Houston for three prospects, according to our David O’Brien. The Braves haven’t confirmed the return but they reportedly will receive three prospects, including third baseman Rio Ruiz and pitcher Mike Foltynewicz. Gattis was a fan favorite because of his power and his meteoric rise from oblivion.
• Heyward, the starting right fielder, was dealt with reliever Jordan Walden to St. Louis, for young starting pitcher Shelby Miller. Miller may wind up being a nice member of the rotation but the Braves sacrificed their best all-round player to get him, believing Heyward couldn’t be re-signed after the 2015 season.
• Upton, the starting left fielder and best home run and RBI man (29, 102), also was traded because Hart was convinced the player couldn’t be re-signed in free agency. He went to San Diego for a package of players — the most noteworthy being pitcher Max Fried, who’s coming off Tommy John surgery.
The Heyward and Upton trades were made for money reasons. The Gattis trade was made because he just didn’t fit anywhere and he had some value on the trade market.
Open to debate is whether Hart should have been able to get more in trade than he did.
What’s not open for debate is that the Braves have taken a massive hit in this rebuilding effort.
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