Braves wouldn’t have traded Garcia if making playoffs was realistic

The Braves began their presumed sell-off by traded starting pitcher Jaime Garcia to the Minnesota Twins for a low-level prospect. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

If the dark underworld of social media is any indication, Braves fans are not happy about the trade that sent starting pitcher Jaime Garcia to the Minnesota Twins for an obscure young pitcher with the most confusing name in the history of the world (Huascar Ynoa. I copy/pasted from the press release rather than attempt to spell.)

Ynoa is not one of the Twins’ top 10 prospects. (I write that as someone who considers prospect rankings only slightly more reliable than recruiting rankings; therefore, I don’t obsess over either). The 19-year-old Dominican right hander has started six games this season in rookie ball and has a 5.26 ERA, allowing .277 batting average with a 1.64 WHIP in 25.2 innings. So yeah, nothing screams: SAVIOR!

But let’s be real here: They traded Jaime Garcia.

What did you expect the Braves to get in return? This is not the left hander who went 10-6 with a 2.43 ERA in 2015. When the Braves acquired Garcia in the winter, he was coming off a 2016 season when his ERA ballooned to 4.67 and his WHIP increased from 1.049 to 1.375.

This season was actually better than could have been expected: 4.30 (1.319 WHIP). He even hit a grand slam in his last start against Los Angeles. But he’s still a rental player and a bottom-of-the-rotation starter. That’s it.

Without possibly knowing what Ynoa will amount to, let me respond to some of the concerns I’ve seen on Twitter:

• Some are throwing out the term “salary dump.” It’s true Garcia was making a healthy salary at $12 million. But there’s roughly two months left in the season. When teams look to dump contracts, it’s with full seasons remaining — usually multiple seasons. B.J. Upton was a salary dump. Garcia is not.

• Some believe general manager John Coppolella should have gotten more in return. Really? Based on what? Even if there were multiple teams interested in Garcia, it doesn’t mean multiple teams were offering a lot. Without knowing the particulars of the offers, it’s reasonable to assume Ynoa was considered a more valuable asset than whatever players other teams were offering. There’s no conceivable reason the Braves would take a lesser offer.

• Some ask a reasonable question: If this was all Coppolella could get in return for Garcia, catcher Anthony Recker and “cash considerations,” why make the deal at all?

The answer is simple: You may want to sit down for this. The season is over.

The Braves can’t legitimately claim that Garcia is a worse pitching option than whoever takes his place in the rotation (probably Lucas Sims). What that tells you is it’s more important to them to get a look at Sims (and possible Kris Medlen) than it is to stick with Garcia, who they’re not re-signing after the season anyway.

If Braves’ management seriously believed the team was still in the chase for a National League wild card berth, they would not have made this trade. But they don’t. And they shouldn’t. And because of that, expect more veteran departures before the July 31 trade deadline.

EARLIER: Dwight Freeney is only a last-resort option for Falcons

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19 comments
Toby Allen04
Toby Allen04

Coppy hasnt proven anything except that he got duped on Olivera, Swanson, Blair, Wisler on and on....

"Waves and waves of talent"

LMFAO

His "pitching currency" is looking like Confederate money

I_was_there_for_715
I_was_there_for_715

OK, let's spin this in another direction.


Given the success in the second half of 2016 and what they did or did not do in the offseason, is the 2017 Braves season a success or failure?


Why I think it was a failure.  Swanson (unrealistic expectations), Teheran, Colon, Ruiz, Wisler, Blair, Rodriguez (through no fault of his own), and, Bonifacio did not live up to hopes/expectations.  The bullpen, individually and as a group, did not improve - especially Vizcaino and Ramirez.  I was expecting a minor league pitcher would come up and show more consistency, even if not all that successful.  I was hoping the Braves would finish very close to .500, but, I think now it will be closer to 10 games under .500.


Why I think it was a success.  The offensive output from the second half of 2016 has been matched  if not exceeded (lotsa people were leery of that in the offseason), especially from the catcher position.  Folty has improved and shown a lot more consistency.  Phillips, Kemp, and, Markakis have maintained a hoped-for level of productivity.  Camargo, Sam Freeman, and, Matt Adams (offsetting the potential devastating injury to Freddie) have been a pleasant surprise.  After getting rid of Bonifacio, the bench has been a bit better than expected.  And, it has been great to see that the offense does not give up and has had so much success late in the game (Snitker has to take some credit for that).


I think that the Braves front office was expecting more major league production from their young players and farm system.  But, that is what can happen with prospects, so, we can hope for more in 2018.  Plus, it seems that the most and best talent (other than Acuna and Albies) is not at the AAA level.


Given all this, I think that the 2017 season has been a bit disappointing.  But, it will be interesting to see what happens before the trade deadline and with September callups.

I_was_there_for_715
I_was_there_for_715

Oh, and part of the success, Ender proved that 2016 was not a fluke.  A great move by the front office to sign him to an extension and nice that Ender seems to genuinely like and want to play in Atlanta.  A guy who is a Gold Glove centerfielder AND a .300 leadoff hitter AND who wants to be here is not easy to find and the Braves need to hold onto him.

I_was_there_for_715
I_was_there_for_715

Um, yeah, Schultz and me seem to be preaching patience.


It always amazes me the people that throw out impossible trade scenarios (that they make up - not citing anybody else's rumors that have credibility) and criticize GMs for trades they don't make without knowing ANYTHING about the ACTUAL trade discussions that occurred - AND without having or showing ANY experience or qualifications of being a GM or making deals at the level of professional sports.


Would I have traded Garcia and Recker for Max Scherzer? Sure, but, the Nationals wouldn't.  Would I have traded Garcia and Recker for Yoan Moncada?  Sure, but, the White Sox wouldn't.


It is stupid to criticize a GM for not making a (possibly lopsided) trade - when you have to consider that the OTHER GM/team would have to agree to the trade as well.  And it is stupid to criticize a GM for not making a trade that was NEVER in place, much less a trade the you made up without you having ANY contact with ANY insiders to professional sports teams and without you providing ANY qualifications/information to make any of us believe that you know what you are talking about.


The Braves have stockpiled the farm system in order to produce players that will play in the majors FOR the Braves.  Ya know, like they did in the 1990's and early 2000's when they won 14 DIVISION TITLES IN A ROW.  Until a prospect shows a lower-than-expected ceiling or has a serious injury, it does not make sense to trade away a potential 10-year major leaguer unless you are REALLY close to WINNING the World Series.  Sorry folks, the Braves are NOT really close to WINNING the World Series this year or next.

atlanta spirit
atlanta spirit

Good trade.  Face it the Braves will not win this year so get the best draft position (by losing) and player you can for next year.  The Braves are on an upswing and the success of the new stadium will mean they will pay up in the future to fill the stadium.  The future is bright and right around the corner.


Just not this year.

Dis custed
Dis custed

Lots of holes in this operation. Management is trying bu

t truly constrained by net revenue ownership position. Meanwhile beers in the chophouse go for $12/per. Harder to hang on as a fan. Spectacle of a new house will wear off soon and the Braves will need to become competitive.

8kentucky13
8kentucky13

Not to stray from the subject matter of this article, but I'd like to know why the AJC allows scammers to post misleading (aka: false) advertisements about "making money on your computer".   Aside from being annoying there are gullible people out there who actually believe this nonsense.  Is there nothing that you can do to screen out this garbage, or do you just not care?

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

Nice try Schultzie, you are almost as convincing as Joe and Chip explaining the Garcia/Recker trade . Not much mention of the player coming back, but only the amount of money (Joe mentioned something along the lines of $5million) saved by the Braves and the possibility of Coppy using this windfall to improve the team for a pseudo playoff run. You are correct about the outlook for this season, an outside chance to finish above .500, depending on who is left on the roster after next Monday, but no real playoff chances. There have been many comments on here mine included about the Braves Acquiring a meaningful piece at the trading deadline, (Sonny Gray and even as far as Justin Verlander) but it will not happen. Coppy will go about moving veterans for middling to average prospects for the future 2019 and beyond. In other words Schultzie, twitter is also correct Coppy is DUMPING salaries, he received what he was after for Jaime Garcia a middling prospect and some measure of salary reduction.

I_was_there_for_715
I_was_there_for_715

@Buschleaguer What experience and/or information do you have/possess for us to believe that you (as the Braves GM) could/should have acquired more for Garcia and Recker?

JeffCriswell
JeffCriswell

Braves have no realistic chance at playoffs. Confounding trade, nonetheless. The player coming back does not have seem to have much upside. IMO. 

Chopchic
Chopchic

No, this article is entirely wrong...the Braves DO want to win, the season is NOT "over"...this trade frees up money needed to go after a front-line starter that is controllable for more than this year...like Sony Gray for example. There is still a week left before the trade deadline, lets see what happens before making statements like "the season is over"!

PSU92
PSU92

Agree. They freed up $4M+ this year. Enough to cover Sonny Grays' salary for an entire year. Thus, they possibly have excess to both trade for Gray and enough cash leftover to add some bullpen help.

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

Who are the Braves going to trade to get Gray? No, the Braves committed multiple years of losing to restock the farm system, they need to be patient until it produces (or sell the team). Trading multiple top prospects for Gray is just going to extend the misery.