A lot can happen in five days.
It takes five days to get from Monday to Friday, which feels more like five weeks. It takes five days for a pitcher to rest before his next start. It took Austin Riley five days to knock two homers, four RBIs and a .421 average in his first week in the majors.
Five days isn’t a long time. Historically, a lot happens in the five days from now until the non-tender trade deadline. So why does it seem so…dead…right now?
The market is significantly thinner this year leading up to the 31st. Teams are reluctant to move their stars and, if they’re open to change, the asking price is consistently far too high.
The biggest trade piece, headlined from last year’s deadline, took the baseball world by surprise when the Giants said he is no longer available.
Surprising? Not at all, given the Giants’ impressive run as of late. A huge bummer? You know it.
The Braves sit 4.5 games in first place ahead of Washington. The signing of Dallas Keuchel added a much-needed arm to an injury-plagued rotation. While Keuchel continues to dominate, work is still needed to be done.
We’ve got five days to make our case for the World Series. A big move is crucial. Our broken, closer-less bullpen needs a strong, consistent arm.
So what do we do?
Now, I’m not saying there isn’t a soul out there. There are more than a few options available for the Braves to get at a responsible cost. The Braves’ most significant need is, still, pitching depth and a solid rotation arm, coupled with a proven closer. The options remain available, although one remains more fitting than the rest.
Noah Syndergaard, Edwin Diaz: NYM
The biggest news of the deadline broke just about 24 hours ago. The Mets are reportedly ready to move RHP Noah Syndergaard. Thor is a continual rumored trade piece every year at the deadline; but, it’s looking like 2019 is the year he puts on new threads.
Rival evaluators say they believe the Mets are fully intent on dealing Noah Syndergaard before the trade deadline. "It's beyond listening," said one. "They want to move him."
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 25, 2019
This comes as a surprise to many, considering Van Wagenen gave the impression of contention with his postseason acquisitions of Edwin Diaz, Robinson Cano, and Wilson Ramos. But, fortunately for Atlanta, it appears New York dug more holes than they filled. Diaz continues to blow more save opportunities than capitalize, Wheeler is struggling with injury, and the remainder of their pitching staff shows more signs of struggle than promise.
Van Wagenen is seeing this as an opportunity to cash in on young talent and restructure the path to October. As you know, the Braves have more than enough talent to spare. But; what would the ideal trade for both sides look like?
Wishful Thinking or Perfect Timing?
I wrote this tweet after seeing Olney’s news about Syndergaard, dreaming of a flowing, blond Christmas in July for the Braves. Honestly? It started as more of a joke or wishful thinking than anything; you know, to get the Twitterverse talking.
Then I saw this tweet not too long after.
Source: The Mets have sent Omar Minaya to scout Braves AA team tonight. The Braves have the prospect depth to match up on Syndergaard, Wheeler and Diaz
— Andy Martino (@martinonyc) July 25, 2019
It looks like Van Wagenen, and I are on the same wavelength.
Both Mississippi and Gwinnett saw their fair share of scouts in last night’s contests. The timing could not have been more ideal either, given Ian Anderson’s 5.1-0-9 slash line.
Now, I’m not saying “let’s get rid of Ian Anderson right now” or anything. I love Jethro Tull in our farm system as much as I loved Ozzie Albies or Ronald Acuña Jr. during their time. But, I also want to see us succeed now.
The path to October is in the horizon for the Braves, but plenty of obstacles lie ahead as well. I love watching Ian Anderson dominate, and I see him as a strong asset to the team. The last thing I want to see is him in a different uniform. But, if the timing is right, Anthopoulos should at least entertain the idea if it means adding crucial pieces that could prove to be a good investment for the long run. That’s where I see Syndergaard (Arb. eligible 2020, free agent 2022) and Diaz (Arb. eligible 2020, free agent 2023) fitting in for Atlanta.
Reports coming from the New York Post state that the Mets are targeting the Braves and Padres as suitors for Noah Syndergaard. This with other reports suggests we are very much in the running. Van Wagenen will require a significant return for just one, let alone both. Anthopoulos will need to send some of the farm to greener pastures to get a deal of this importance done. The looming question remains: who goes to New York?
Braves get: Noah Syndergaard
Mets get: Kyle Wright, Bryse Wilson, Joey Wentz
Yes, I know that sounds steep and way too one-sided. But keep in mind the pitcher that Noah Syndergaard is and how impactful he could be for Atlanta. Also, keep in mind that the asking price remains on the high side.
Impression is that trading for Noah Syndergaard would require a top 30 prospect and a couple of other solid pieces, one rival exec said earlier today.
— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) July 25, 2019
Wright has struggled a bit on the big stage for Atlanta, and Wilson hasn’t come into form yet either. A change of scenery may prove beneficial for the budding young arms while giving Atlanta a promising push to the World Series in the form of Noah Syndergaard. It’s a trade that doesn’t break the prospect bank, offers New York the return it so seeks (Kyle Wright: #23 overall prospect) and gives Atlanta their ace.
Braves get: Edwin Diaz
Mets get: Kyle Wright, Drew Waters, AJ Minter
Again, I know it seems ridiculous. But, Van Wagenen isn’t budging on his costs. Reports are showing that he is asking for “approximation or higher” for his value that brought Diaz to New York last winter (Bruce, Swarzak, Kelenic [#2 Mariners prospect], Justin Dunn [#3 Mariners prospect] and Gerson Bautista [#28]).
I’m the last person that wants to see this much of the farm move, especially for a struggling closer like Diaz. But, if Anthopoulos does want his new closer in Diaz, it will cost him more than just a couple of top guys. I’m thinking it will look something along the lines of this.
Again, I don’t want to see this happen, and I especially don’t want to lose these guys. I’m just saying if AA is going to make the push, then it’ll cost him. Save the hate for my twitter page.
Braves get: Noah Syndergaard
Mets get: Ian Anderson, Kyle Muller, Tucker Davidson
The Mets scouted Anderson in Mississippi last night during his dominant outing. The want is severe enough that the Braves are reported to be one of two teams very seriously in contention for Syndergaard. Packaging Anderson (#24 overall prospect) with the promising talent of Muller and Davidson could be enough to convince Van Wagnenen to move Syndergaard to Atlanta. The Mets get their top 30, the Braves get their ace without breaking the prospect bank too severely, everybody is happy, and the Braves begin their serious contention to the World Series.
The non-tender trade deadline is July 31st at 4:00 PM ET. Keep watching SportsTalkATL for all your Braves news, transactions and more leading up to the deadline.