The Matt Olson trade was a slam dunk for the Braves. Whether you agree with letting Freddie Freeman walk or not, we can all agree that Alex Anthopoulos pivoted in the best possible direction. Olson is slowly starting to work his way into the NL MVP conversation, leading the league in homers (36) and leading all of baseball in RBIs (89) in a much-improved second season with the club. The Braves were also able to lock him up long-term after the trade and have him under team control through 2030.
It also helps to know the players the Braves traded away for Olson’s services haven’t exactly broken out at the major-league level. Cristian Pache lasted just a year with his new squad before being designated for assignment. Shea Langeliers hasn’t adjusted to major-league pitching like many expected, and former first-round pick Ryan Cusick owns a career 5.05 ERA in the minors. Those were the three primary pieces sent back to Oakland in the deal, and none of them have lived up to the billing so far, but the fourth player included, the lesser-known Joey Estes, is starting to build a name for himself on the farm.
Estes was a 16th round selection by the Braves out of high school in the 2019 MLB Draft. He didn’t have stellar numbers last season in High-A ball, but he’s really flashed some promise this season, posting a 3.28 ERA, which has earned him a promotion to AAA.
A’s No. 19 prospect Joey Estes is being promoted to Triple-A Las Vegas. 21-year-old right-hander acquired in the Matt Olson deal is having an impressive season at Double-Midland.
— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) August 1, 2023
For the A’s sake, I hope Estes pans out. Their fans have been tortured enough. Not only do they have to watch star after star leave town, but their front office seems to throwing darts at prospects and hoping something sticks. The A’s have no idea what they are doing, but that’s not the Braves problem. Atlanta is more than happy with both Matt Olson and Sean Murphy.
Photographer: Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire