Sunday, April 5, 2015

Howdy Cameron, Matt, Jordan, 41st Overall Pick, and Carlos (also, see ya, Carlos)

A little bit ago, I looked at the players the Braves traded tonight. Now, let's look at the guys who they gained.

Carlos Quentin

Quentin is a guy miscast in the National League at this point. His knees cannot hold up to the rigors of playing in the field. He needs a spot on an AL roster where he can platoon at DH. That wasn't happening in San Diego, nor will it occur in Atlanta so the Braves soon designated him for assignment, which seems like such an NBA move (pick a guy up to even out salary exchanges just to drop him). My friend Bryce offered an interesting view. Possibly, this odd move came out of trying to avoid involving the commissioner, who often has to approve money swaps. If the Braves had to send money to cover Quentin's salary, the deal would have had a hang-up. Also, Quentin had a no-trade clause. Possibly he wanted a fresh start.

Cameron Maybin

As much as Melvin Upton might be a change of scenery guy, so too is Maybin. In 2011, Maybin was a 4.3 fWAR guy based on superb defense, 40 steal ability, and enough pop (.130). After a good follow-up 2.2 fWAR season in 2012, Maybin has played all of 109 games over the last two years in the majors and that has been worth -0.4. Yes, with a negative. If healthy, Maybin should be able to play solid defense in center and with any luck, will get his RC+ closer to even. All told, he's probably just as good as Melvin, if not better. When you add his contract situation, he's much better. Maybin is due $7M in 2015, $8M in 2016, and there is a team option worth $9M in 2017, or $1M in a buyout. So, the Braves are on the hook for just $16M for a guy who could be worth that in a single season if he is able to replicate his 2011 numbers. If not, he's easily worth the salary over the remaining life of the contract. Of course, he will have to stay healthy.

Matt Wisler

The Braves wanted Wisler over Max Fried during this winter's trade that sent Justin Upton to the Padres, but San Diego balked at including Wisler at the time. The Braves finally got their man and added a Top 5 prospect in anyone's system. Wisler is considered by many to be major-league ready and Baseball America recently rated him as the 34th best prospect in baseball. He struggled a little in the Pacific Coast League after arriving there last year, but that's not abnormal in the PCL. His homers jumped off the map (he surrendered nine homers before 1014, 21 in 2014). Good chance that we see that normalize and with his sinker movement, he could fit right in one the newly built staff. More, he probably replaced Mike Foltynewicz as the top prospect pitcher waiting for a callup. Expect to see him in Atlanta before long.

Jordan Paroubeck

My initial feeling when I saw Paroubeck was "hey, interesting throw-in." That might have been selling Paroubeck short. He's still raw, but has enticing tools that probably garnered much of the attention by the Braves front office. He's a long way from realizing them, nor will he be in the mix anytime soon in Atlanta (spent last year in rookie ball as a 19 year-old), but if the switch-hitter develops just right, he could challenge Rio Ruiz as the best hitting prospect the Braves have picked up this offseason.

The 41st Overall Pick

The cherry on top for this deal has to the 41st overall selection in the upcoming June draft. The pick is a competitive balance selection that follows the first round. Some solid players have been picked #41 over the years (Asher Wojciechowski, Sean Doolittle, Joba Chamberlain) and anytime you are picking that close to the top of the draft, it's a good thing. It will give the Braves four selections in the first 54 picks. That happened in 2006, but the Braves only were able to get two major leaguers out of it in Cory Rasmus and Jeff Locke. They will need to hit on the picks this time.

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