This isn’t an endorsement to trade anyone, as I really love what most of these guys bring to the table. Clint laid out a potential Jose Ramirez trade, and with the absolute bargain Atlanta pulled off via Marcell Ozuna’s contract — this should undoubtedly be on the table. I’ll try to avoid that for now and come up with my own hypotheticals, but I’d be over the moon to get Ramirez. I still believe in Austin Riley’s potential, and this roster doesn’t have many holes. The only trade I can foresee is for an elite third baseman or lockdown bullpen arm. I’d rather just bring Shane Greene and Mark Melancon back, but as it stands, they are unsigned. Check out our official top ten prospect rankings here.
#10: RHP Jasseel De La Cruz
De La Cruz was Steady Eddie through three minor league levels in 2019, posting a 3.25 ERA over A, A+, and AA. He’s likely to start in Gwinnett in 2021, but I doubt we will see him in Atlanta unless a couple of injuries occur. Guys like Tucker Davidson are probably still ahead of him, but he certainly looks close and is currently on the Braves 40-man roster.
Braves Trade: RHP Jasseel De La Cruz, 3B Austin Riley
Cubs Trade: 3B Kris Bryant
In my opinion, this is way too much for a one-year rental that may not even be an upgrade. I still believe in Austin Riley, so unless you’re getting a true superstar, I say hold onto him. However, I’ll be reserving Jose Ramirez and Matt Chapman hypotheticals for the top five. Personally, with Bryant’s salary, I would rather just pay that money to Justin Turner on a one-year contract.
#9 OF Michael Harris
I’m dead set against trading Harris. Even with Marcell Ozuna on a four-year contract and Cristian Pache, Ronald Acuña Jr, and Drew Waters in the fold — this kid is special. Harris is as toolsy of a prospect as you will find, and I think he can become a top prospect in all of baseball with a good 2021. He is the definition of a five-tool athlete. There would have to be a very substantial return for Harris, and I think his potential would make a trade unwise.
Braves Trade: OF Michael Harris, OF Ender Inciarte, RHP Freddy Tarnok
Royals Trade: RHP Greg Holland, Cash Considerations
Atlanta is giving a lot of value, but Kansas City is sending a lockdown closer and eating most of Ender Inciarte’s contract. Holland had some bumpy years after leaving the Royals in 2015, but he was back to dominating to the tune of a 1.91 ERA and 0.95 WHIP in 2020. Harris sucks to part with, but freeing up Ender’s money and adding Holland would be a big win. Tarnok is a lottery ticket arm that’s still developing, and that should appeal to Kansas City — a team that is otherwise not looking to add to their payroll.
#8 LHP Tucker Davidson
Friend of the podcast, Tucker Davidson, had a rough go in his first taste of MLB action in 2020, but less than two innings is a microscopic sample size. His dominance in Mississippi in 2019 was not. Davidson abused Southern League hitters to the tune of a 2.03 ERA over 110.2 innings, and he carried his success over in 19 Gwinnett innings, only allowing five home runs over both levels. Davidson is probably the most “ready” name on the list, so he would garner serious interest in a trade package.
Braves trade: LHP Tucker Davidson, C Alex Jackson, RHP Victor Vodnik
Rockies Trade: SS Trevor Story
Call it unrealistic, but hell — Colorado gave Nolan Arenado away. Shortstop isn’t really a need, but I’m operating under the assumption that Dansby or Story could slide to third. If they’re giving away guys like Arenado for nothing, I’ll take a guy who clubbed 72 homers from 2018-2019 and figure out the rest later.
#7 INF Braden Shewmake
Shewmake was a head-scratcher when he was selected in the first round, and media pundits slammed AA for this pick. Well… here we are. All Shewmake does is hit — straight up. He reminds me a lot of 2019 NL MVP Cody Bellinger with his big swatting swing and similar frame. Shewmake can play all over the infield, but with the Braves infield basically locked down, I could see him being dealt for some bullpen help.
Braves Trade: INF Braden Shewmake, RHP Daysbel Hernandez, C Logan Brown
Indians Trade: RHP James Karinchak
With Cleveland shedding salary like a husky sheds in the summertime, I don’t think they would be too keen on keeping a lockdown bullpen arm as they get smacked around every night. Karinchak was fantastic in 2020 after a dominant (but short) 2020 debut. Over 32.1 career innings, he has only given up nine earned runs and struck out 53 batters for an insane 17.0 K/9. Also, he has only surrendered one home run and 16 walks. He’s about as dominant as you will find available on the market, and in return — Cleveland gets a high upside Fransisco Lindor replacement that can play all over the infield, a young catcher, and a stable future relief option.
#6 C Shea Langeliers
I’m pretty close to declaring Langeliers as untouchable. He has JT Realmuto potential behind the dish defensively. He only has 216 pro-at-bats under his belt, but draft picks out of college tend to rise quickly through the system. I would be very disappointed if Langeliers was traded for anybody less than a superstar.
With so few holes on the roster and other bigger plans for the top five, I had to settle for this hypothetical. I probably wouldn’t do this (and neither would the other team), but hey, we’ll get the big boys in the next edition.
Braves Trade: C Shea Langeliers, LHP Tucker Davidson, OF Trey Harris
Brewers Trade: RHP Devin Williams, LHP Josh Hader
The NL Central is really anyone’s division, and it’s hard to justify giving up Shea Langeliers, so I went with two of the best bullpen arms in all of baseball. Devin Williams posted one of the greatest rookie seasons of all time at any position, only allowing one earned run (a solo home run), eight hits, and nine walks over 27 innings…. while striking out 53 batters. Josh Hader was posting legendary numbers from 2017-2019, but 2020 was a down year. Still, I’ll bet on his upside. While I think it would be foolish not to retain Shane Greene and Mark Melancon — if the season gets to the halfway mark and Milwaukee is out of the NL Central — I’d pick up the phone and give them a call.
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