USA Today

It's time to re-evaluate a few Braves trades from the last 13 months

The Braves have made a lot of trades in the last 13 months, but let's take a look at a few of them a second time.

Wednesday’s trade with the Diamondbacks allows us to look at a few other deals differently.

For example, the Braves traded Jason Heyward a year ago knowing it would be unlikely they could sign him to a long-term contract. Shelby Miller was the return price, but now that Miller has been traded, it’s worth looking differently at the Heyward trade.

Jason Heyward – OF – St. Louis Cardinals
Jordan Walden – P – St. Louis Cardinals
Tyrell Jenkins – P – Atlanta Braves
Aaron Blair – P – Atlanta Braves
Dansby Swanson – SS – Atlanta Braves
Ender Inciarte – OF – Atlanta Braves

So for one year of Heyward, the Braves got one season of Miller, who was their best pitcher in 2015. Then they spun Miller to Arizona for the three-player package and on top of that still have Jenkins.

They’ve got back two young pitchers – Jenkins and Blair. The hope is at least one can be a long-term (meaning more than the three years Miller had left under control) option in the Atlanta rotation. Plus, the Braves got an outfielder. Sure, Inciarte is not Heyward, but he’s pretty decent and he’s under control for five years. The Braves love Inciarte and believe he can get better. Remember, he’s only 25 years old.

But, of course, the premier piece in the deal is Swanson, who could become the face of the franchise. The Braves needed an infielder to replace Andrelton Simmons, who was traded to the Angels for Erick Aybar and two pitching prospects (Sean Newcomb and Chris Ellis).

If you combine those two situations, here’s what the Braves have:

Andrelton Simmons replaced by Erick Aybar (for 2016) and then Dansby Swanson (for the long-term).
Jason Heyward replaced by Ender Inciarte (with five years of control)
The Braves also lose Walden and catching prospect Jose Briceno
Atlanta gains pitching prospects Newcomb, Ellis and Blair – two are top 100 prospects

The Braves and Diamondbacks have made four trades this year. Here are the four deals combined in one big trade:

Dansby Swanson – SS – Atlanta Braves (bonus of $6.5 million paid by Arizona)
Ender Inciarte – OF – Atlanta Braves
Aaron Blair – P – Atlanta Braves
Touki Toussaint – P – Atlanta Braves
Bronson Arroyo – P – Atlanta Braves (later traded to the Dodgers)
Trevor Cahill – P – Atlanta Braves
Competitive Balance pick in 2015  (A.J Minter) – P – Atlanta Braves
Shelby Miller – P – Arizona Diamondbacks
Gabe Speier – P – Arizona Diamondbacks
Phil Gosselin – P – Arizona Diamondbacks
10 million dollars – Arizona Diamondbacks
Josh Elander – OF – Arizona Diamondbacks
Victor Reyes – OF – Arizona Diamondbacks

The Braves also made two major trades with the San Diego Padres. Here are those two trades combined:

Cameron Maybin – OF – Atlanta Braves
Carlos Quentin – OF – Atlanta Braves
Matt Wisler – RHP – Atlanta Braves
Jordan Paroubeck – OF – Atlanta Braves
Competitive Balance Draft Pick 41 (Austin Riley) – Atlanta Braves
Max Fried – P – Atlanta Braves
Jace Peterson – INF – Atlanta Braves
Dustin Peterson – INF – Atlanta Braves
Mallex Smith – OF – Atlanta Braves
Justin Upton – OF – San Diego Padres
Aaron Northcraft – P – San Diego Padres
Craig Kimbrel – P – San Diego Padres
Melvin Upton – OF – San Diego Padres
Braves saved $53 million on the Kimbrel trade and $14 million in the Justin Upton deal - $67 million

So here’s what’s left:

Ian Krol – LHP (acquired from Detroit for Maybin)
Matt Wisler – RHP (member of the Braves’ rotation)
Austin Riley – 3B (considered a Top 10 prospect)
Max Fried – LHP (coming back from TJ)
Jace Peterson – 2B (primary 2B for 2015 and scheduled for 2016)
Dustin Peterson – LF (should be in AA in 2016)
Mallex Smith – CF (may be ready for Atlanta in 2016)

They gave up one year of Justin Upton, got out of the Melvin Upton contract and gave up Kimbrel.

So the rebuilding process has been helped a great deal by some really good trades by the Braves front office. And, they’re likely not done yet.

Listen to “The Bill Shanks Show” from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 AM in Macon and online at http://www.foxsports1670.com/. Follow Bill at twitter.com/BillShanks and email him at thebillshanksshow@yahoo.com.

 


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