Braves: A trade package for each top ten prospect (5-1)

dnu200821004 laa at oak

This is the second edition of this trade article. If you wanna check out prospects 10-6, you can find that here. I thought that this would be easier than the first part, but honestly — I like my guys. Most of these would likely be deadline trades for superstars, but I don’t think I’d do any of the trades listed. However, if Anthopoulos decides to push the chips in and go at the Dodgers’ throats, these are some moves that could put Atlanta over the top.

#5. C William Contreras

There are a lot of catcher needy teams in the majors, and with Tyler Flowers still unsigned, William Contreras looks to be part of Atlanta’s backstop tandem going into 2021. There are very (let me emphasize VERY) few available names in free agency, and with Tyler Flowers having the highest WAR of anyone on the market: this would have to be a monster return. I won’t give away the surprise yet. Contreras will be included in a blockbuster deal later on.

#4 LHP Kyle Muller

Kyle Muller is probably the one I am most “okay” with trading on this list, as he’s oozing with upside. I liked him as a draft choice from day one; you can’t coach 6’7 with 99 from the left side. Muller will have to reign in the walks, but he has all of the potential as a frontline starter.


Braves Trade: LHP Kyle Muller, C Alex Jackson

Cubs Trade: C Willson Contreras


I think this is a pretty fair swap. If Atlanta doesn’t feel good about starting Willson’s brother in the majors or retaining d’Arnaud on his bargain $8 million salary after this season, pairing Willson with William is very appealing. The Cubs are in the midst of a fire sale, and Contreras is one of the best hitting and defensive catchers in all of baseball. He has one more season until he hits free agency, but it has to be enticing for him to sign up long term with his younger brother. The Cubs get a stopgap replacement and a future frontline starter as they kick off a rebuild.

#3 OF Drew Waters

This is where Waters and Contreras come into play, and I’m sure you all know where this is going. I’m still hesitant with this; fans fall in love with their own prospects all the time, but Drew Waters is special. He’s a true five-tool guy that will be an impact player from day one. I think he can develop substantial power and become a perennial 30/30 star. So for that, the return has to be special too.


Braves Trade: OF Drew Waters, C William Contreras, 3B Austin Riley, RHP Jasseel De La Cruz

Indians Trade: 3B Jose Ramirez, RHP James Karinchak


I covered Karinchak in the 10-6 edition, but his resumé speaks for himself as a lockdown reliever with a 17.0 K/9. Jose Ramirez is the crown jewel here. The Braves are giving up a LOT of value, but they’re also getting a lot in return. Ramirez has one of the best contracts in baseball — controlling a perennial MVP candidate until 2024 has to be appealing to Atlanta. William Contreras is tough to stomach trading (along with Waters), but the Braves do have Shea Langeliers in the fold, who I think is about a year away. If you can trust Alex Jackson as a stopgap or (sigh) bring Tyler Flowers back, this is a trade that pays massive dividends now and going forward for the Braves. I’d still prefer to roll with Riley, but this is what a package for a young, controllable superstar looks like. Cleveland fills two massive needs at outfielder and catcher and also picks up a high upside replacement for Ramirez along with a starting pitcher that’s close to ready.

#2 OF Cristian Pache

What do I even do for this? Pache is untouchable to me. He is already a fan favorite and is undoubtedly the best defensive prospect in baseball at any position. He has gap-to-gap power and mashed a long home run in an otherwise forgettable playoff game for the Braves. There is a SHORT list of names I’ll include him in a trade for; it has to be a superstar. But on that list…


Braves trade: 3B Austin Riley, OF Cristian Pache

Athletics Trade: 3B Matt Chapman, RHP JB Wendelken


As with Ramirez, Chapman is a young controllable superstar under contract until 2024. I expect Oakland to be competitive for a while, but they make weird trades all the time, just like with Cespedes. What sets Chapman apart from Ramirez is his elite defense. The platinum glove winner is lockdown at the hot corner, and he can absolutely mash. He’s a year removed from 36 home runs and his second straight platinum glove. Like with Cleveland, I’m parlaying a very good relief pitcher in return. Wendelken has been outstanding in limited action, and he also fills a need. I’m not too crazy about this trade, but I would be excited to have Matt Chapman in Atlanta, especially if the Braves feel that Drew Waters is ready.

#1 RHP Ian Anderson

Okay, seriously, Anderson is untouchable. Fight me. Off the top of my head, I can’t remember a rookie shut down multiple teams in the playoffs like this since… ever. Anderson is the definition of cool, calm, and collected. He is an ace, and if you want an ace, I have to get an ace. I can’t even take this seriously.


Indians Trade: RHP Shane Bieber, 3B Jose Ramirez

Braves Trade: RHP Ian Anderson, LHP Tucker Davidson, OF Drew Waters, C Shea Langeliers, RHP Jasseel De La Cruz, LHP Jared Shuster, RHP Freddy Tarnok


I’m not trading Anderson. Sorry. There’s no logical fit, and Bieber melted down in the playoffs. Anderson did not. Run it back.


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