This is Part II of our series of two blockbuster trades with each division, moving on to the NL West. If you missed the first part of this series, click the link below.
The Diamondbacks made one of the weirdest signings of the offseason thus far. Following a season in which they lost 110 games and were quite literally one of the worst teams of all-time, they brought in a closer in Mark Melancon on a two-year, $14 million deal. But make no mistake about it, this is a rebuilding organization, and they have a very enticing trade chip in Ketel Marte.
In 2019, Marte finished fourth in the NL MVP race after hitting .329 with 32 homers — good for a .981 OPS. He dealt with some injuries this past season, but the numbers were pretty similar, as he hit .318 with a .909 OPS. Defensively, Marte can play all over the diamond, but the Braves would likely see him as their centerfielder, where they have a gaping hole at the moment. Marte’s also affordable and controllable. He’s under contract for three more seasons, making $8 million in 2022, $10 million in 2023, and $12 million in 2024. That’s going to make him expensive in terms of prospects, but once again, the Braves certainly have the firepower to strike a deal if the Diamondbacks are looking to move him.
Braves trade Drew Waters, Tucker Davidson, and Huascar Ynoa to Diamondbacks for Ketel Marte
I think this is a fair trade for both sides. I still am high on Waters as a prospect, but the high K-rate is worrisome, and the Braves have a surplus of outfielders. They also have a surplus of arms, and I think this is a case of selling high on two guys who may never be major-league starters. Ynoa was great at times last season, but he’ll never be a top of the rotation arm until he develops a third offering, and Davidson’s ceiling is likely as a fourth or fifth member of a rotation, even if he has dominated the minor leagues recently. There is some upside here for Arizona, but I would probably pull the trigger on this if I were Alex Anthopoulos.
Blackmon will be 35 next season, is coming off the worst offensive season of his career, and is owed $39 million over the next two years. The Rockies should be begging teams to take on the remainder of his contract, so I decided to get creative here.
Braves trade Marcell Ozuna and William Contreras to the Rockies for Charlie Blackmon
To avoid the PR nightmare that will likely come with Ozuna, the Braves deal him to the Rockies and absorb Blackmon’s contract. Colorado would likely cut ties with Ozuna immediately, which means eating $53 million, but they receive William Contreras as a cherry on top. In return, the Braves take on the remainder of Blackmon’s contract, hoping he can regain form and become a quality contributor as Atlanta’s starting centerfielder. The Braves might also have to send over a little more cash in the deal, but something like this could work.
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