Thursday, July 25, 2013

Post-Hudson Deadline Plans: Guest

My friend Bryce is back with a column on what the Braves could do after the injury to Tim Hudson.  He contends that Atlanta should go all-in.  However, I worry because the last time he talked about trading a Brave, that guy got hurt.

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The Braves will likely claim they are comfortable with their current starting pitching options. They will have Brandon Beachy returning to take Hudson’s slot in the rotation and will likely hope to have Paul Maholm return after a stint on the DL for a sprained wrist. While they still boast impressive starting pitching depth, it leaves me worried about who will fill out the postseason rotation.

My buddy, Thomas, covered how Kris Medlen had pitched his way into a position to lose his starting role upon Beachy’s return prior to the Hudson injury. Despite the sudden strangle hold Kris has gained to his starting role since yesterday, it doesn’t change the fact that he has been an average pitcher in 2013—which in my eyes should not change his status of being in jeopardy of losing his starting role. Combine that with the general distrust Maholm gives me as a not bad, but definitely not good pitcher, the uncertainty surrounding Beachy’s health and production ceiling coming back from Tommy John, and Alex Wood’s obvious lack of experience and it’s easy to understand why I feel the Atlanta Braves will be playing with fire if/when they say they are comfortable with their current starters.

That said, what should the Braves do about it? Pay up for an injury-prone Jake Peavy? Go after an unimpressive Bud Norris? Roll the dice on a flat out awful Josh Johnson? Ugh. I just threw up in my mouth a little bit thinking about those options. Luckily for you, I have a better idea. One that I’m fairly certain would be unpopular on face value, but I feel would increase the chances of a championship and create interesting possibilities for the winter. Are you ready? Wait for it. Very good. I commend your patience.

James Shields. Seriously. 

The Royals have made Ervin Santana available recently and are practically guaranteeing themselves a sub-.500 finish to the season. I don’t see why they would not move Shields for the right offer considering that Dayton Moore might lose his job this winter after the flop the Royals were this season. Moore could look to save his job by picking up some buy-low opportunities and prospects from liquidating Shields now while he has a season and a half worth of retention.

So that brings us to the price tag. In prospects, I doubt the Braves would have enough to tempt the Royals. However, that is not what I feel the Royals should be looking at. Moore, in order to gain some job security, needs to get some players who can impact his major league roster immediately or within the next year and luckily for the Braves that is where the majority of their young talent is.

Start things off with Medlen to replace James Shields in the Royals' rotation. While he is certainly no ace, Medlen will give them a cheap and retainable young starting pitcher who will help them stabilize the rotation in 2014. Next, include Jason Heyward. He can slot into right field for the Royals and see if he can gain consistency in another city where he may not be expected to be the face of the organization like he was tabbed to be in Atlanta. Finally, top off the package with the exciting Alex Wood. While some may be tempted to keep Wood with all the comparisons to Chris Sale that he’s garnered with his unorthodox mechanics, his future may very well be in the bullpen. What better time to capitalize on his trade value than now when he has yet to prove if he can stick in the rotation?

With the inclusion of so much talent, we can likely kill two birds with one stone (as Thomas pointed out that Wren likes to do) and get Moore to throw in Luke Hochevar.

The Braves can still prioritize adding a left-handed reliever with Joey Terdoslavich as the main piece of bait in those negotiations and they could go as far as to search for a left-handed bench bat that can handle the infield. For funsies, let’s say we grab Oliver Perez for Terdoslavich and Luis Valbuena from the Cubs for Todd Cunningham.

Rotation - James Shields, Mike Minor, Julio Teheran, Brandon Beachy, Paul Maholm

Bullpen - LR David Carpenter, Anthony Varvaro, Oliver Perez, Luke Hochevar, Luis Avilan, Jordan Walden, Craig Kimbrel

Starters - CA Brian McCann, 1B Freddie Freeman, 2B Dan Uggla, 3B Chris Johnson, SS Andrelton Simmons, LF Evan Gattis, CF BJ Upton, RF Justin Upon

Bench - CA Gerald Laird, OF Reed Johnson, OF Jordan Schafer, IF Luis Valbuena, UT Paul Janish/Tyler Pastornicky

I smell a World Series contender. You’re welcome.

7 comments:

  1. no offense or anything meant here...but are you insane?? you would give up 6 years of alex wood PLUS medlen AND heyward? i would like to think an offer like that would land chris sale or someone who would atleast be under team control for more than a season and a half

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  2. An offer with 6 years of Alex Wood, Medlen, and Heyward would garner a lot more than 1 starting pitcher. James Shields is not exactly 2010 Roy Halladay or Justin Verlander. That's an insane trade and you should feel bad for wasting time writing this.

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  3. To be fair to Bryce, who wrote the column, since the beginning of 2011, Shields is 13th in ERA, 28th in FIP, and ninth in WAR. Difficult to find a comparison for a year-and-a-half. I think Wood and Medlen would be sufficient, myself. But if you believe there is a realistic package that would bring over Shields for less, I would be open to it.

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  4. Insane, maybe. Still pretty serious, though. While Thomas felt the package was a little steep too, I see two seasons of an average 3rd starter, two seasons of a rightfielder who has the ability to impact but inability to keep himself healthy or remain consistent and six seasons of a relief pitcher for a season and a half of, what Thomas illustrated is, one of the pitcher pitchers there has been in the last couple of years (and dating back to about 2008). On top of that, I do feel there is a strong case that the Braves could sign Shields to an extension during the winter. Just some more of my reasoning.

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  5. The only way heyward is leaving atl is in a body bag. The office is going to push him as the new face of the franchise no matter what. medlen I believe is just having an off year also he hasnt recieved much run support. The trade speculated here is far fetched. Dayton moore would be hung from the highest tree in kc if he got rid of shields after over paying for him with the rays.

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  6. Do they pay you to do this? Do you know anything about baseball? Seriously. Do your homework. Writing columns that posture various options and ideas is legit, but you actually have to be within sight of reasonable.

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  7. This trade is ridiculous. Not only would the Royals completely balk at trading Shields, but there's no way that the Braves A) sell low on Heyward and B) the Royals bite on what is possibly version 2 of Jeff Francoeur. Makes no sense to sell low on Medlen and Heyward, and then throw in Wood. Thank goodness you have nothing to do with the Braves front office.

    I shudder to think of the defensive nightmare an OF of Gattis/BJ/JUp would be. Have you seen JUp in right? He looks completely lost.

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