Braves: The Athletic poses this trade for Gregory Soto

Braves Soto

Recently, David O’Brien and Jim Bowden came up with five trade ideas for the Braves. I’m on the record saying Atlanta won’t be very busy leading up to the trade deadline, but I do think they may add something, most likely a bullpen piece or a second baseman because of the injury to Ozzie Albies. So, this will begin a series where I will evaluate each of the five trades that O’Brien and Bowden came up with.

Potential Braves Trade #1

Braves Get: Gregory Soto

Tigers Get: Kyle Muller and Drew Waters

Obviously, this trade can no longer happen because Drew Waters was traded to the Royals yesterday in a deal that netted the Braves the 35th overall pick. Still, it’s worth evaluating because Soto could be on Anthopoulos’ radar.

Soto is having a career year for the Tigers and was recently named to the American League All-Star team after recording 17 saves and a 2.67 ERA. He also comes with three more years of team control, which is why the prospect cost will be high. However, this is still way too much for a player who has a career 4.39 FIP, and his 3.47 FIP suggests he’s been the subject of some very fortunate luck.

But wait… this gets worse. Soto’s peripherals are terrible. Nearly his entire Baseball Savant page is blue, and he is in the bottom 1% when it comes to average exit velocity.

  • Bottom 1% Average Exit Velocity
  • Bottom 22% in HardHit%
  • Bottom 12% in BB%
  • Bottom 39% in xERA
  • Bottom 39% xwOBA

Soto’s success isn’t sustainable, and in this hypothetical, the Braves would be giving up their top two prospects. No thanks, and I still haven’t gotten to the worst part. In the article, it was O’Brien who proposed the trade above, which I would never have done. But Bowden actually said it was too little and suggested that any trade conversations around Soto would have to begin with William Contreras.

Yes, you read that right. Contreras, who is an All-Star and showing signs of becoming one of the elite catchers in the league at just 24-years-old, would be the starting point in conversations for an average reliever that’s had a lucky half-season. That’s an absolutely mind-boggling egregious take. I even had to do a double-take when I read, and then I audibly laughed out loud.

The truth is I have just about zero interest in trading for Soto, and I especially wouldn’t consider trading my All-Star catcher for him. He’s another Richard Rodriguez, and if the Tigers were smart, they would sell as high as possible while they still can. This time next year, there’s a strong possibility that nobody will even want him.

Photo: Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire


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