We talked extensively on yesterday’s podcast about every topic under the sun when it comes to this year’s trade deadline. One development we did not see coming is the Mets willingness to deal Noah Syndergaard, which was reported by several sources yesterday, and the Braves are one of the teams interested. However, a blockbuster deal like that rarely happens between division rivals.
The Mets had scouts at both the Braves AA and AAA affiliates, but for all we know, Atlanta could be more attracted to Edwin Diaz or Zack Wheeler. It’s going to be a wild next five days – with rumors swirling in every direction. In reality, nine scouts were in attendance at AA Mississippi alone, so many tires are being kicked by Alex Anthopoulos – who is known to make a blockbuster move or two.
So Harrison, Jake, and I of the SportsTalkATL Podcast decided to try and fight through madness and provide you our best prediction of what will happen this deadline. It’s going to be nearly impossible to be right, but hopefully, our explanation will give you a better sense of what to expect before July 31st. We will each start with a deal we hope happens (some might call them far-fetched) and then share our final cumulative conclusion for the 2019 trade deadline.
Proposed Deal: Rasiel Iglesias for Kyle Wright and Jefrey Ramos
Now eight games back in the NL Central, the Reds will be selling. The question is, how much? Yasiel Puig seems like the most likely to be dealt, and maybe the Braves look at adding him as a potential platoon option in the outfield. But my interest is in their closer, Rasiel Iglesias.
Iglesias is having a down year after putting up All-Star caliber numbers from 2016-2018. That was enough to earn him a three-year contract worth north of $24 million from Cincinnati. Over eighteen of that $24 million will be owed to him in 2020 and 2021, which isn’t terrible if Iglesias returns to his 2018 form. He’s a high strikeout arm that has had a 2.53 ERA or lower in each of the past three seasons.
Prying the Reds closer, even in a down year, won’t be easy, especially with multiple years of control left on his contract. However, if the Braves dangle Kyle Wright in front of them, who is #4 on the SportsTalkATL Prospect list, that should be enough to get them to listen.
Proposed Deal: Felipe Vazquez for Cristian Pache, Bryse Wilson, and Huascar Ynoa
Felipe Vazquez is one of those elite closers that could be available and has several years of control remaining. He has a 1.87 ERA in 40 appearances, and that’s not even the best ERA he’s posted in the last three seasons. With a 14.0 K/9 rate, there is a case to be made that Vazquez is the best closer in baseball. The Braves would have him under control for the next four years too, as they chase that elusive World Series trophy while their window is wide open.
The tricky part of this deal is the haul. Atlanta parts ways with their top prospect Cristian Pache, who many believe has Andruw Jones-type potential. However, with Drew Waters emerging as a star prospect in his own right, dealing Pache isn’t as gut-wrenching as it would have been six months ago.
Bryse Wilson is a prospect that has shown promise throughout the minors, and even at times in the majors. Still 21 years old, there is plenty of reason for the Pirates to be interested in acquiring him. Ynoa was awful in his last outing with the Braves, but he’s a young player with electric stuff that shouldn’t have been in Atlanta yet in the first place. There’s a chance he could replace Vazquez in the closer’s role by the time Pittsburgh is ready to compete.
Proposed Deal: Noah Syndergaard for Cristian Pache, Kyle Wright, Thomas Burrows, and Bryse Wilson
By now, we’ve all heard about the rumors surrounding Noah Syndergaard. The Mets seem intent on moving him to the highest bidder and had scouts at the Braves AA and AAA affiliates last night – something is brewing.
I’m not saying that something is Syndergaard, but I hope it is. Like we mentioned above, the Braves can afford to lose their top prospect, Cristian Pache, because of the emergence of Drew Waters. Kyle Wright is another player the Mets will want, especially if the Braves are not giving up Ian Anderson. Thomas Burrows is having a remarkable year in AA but is not as highly rated as the other three.
By doing this deal, the Braves solidify their rotation for the next three years with a 26-year-old in his prime. Yes, it will require a haul, but this is a trade I would deem worth it.
SportsTalkATL Podcast’s Culmative Trade Deadline Predictions
Braves make three trades:
Trade one: White Sox trade Alex Colome to the Braves for Joey Wentz and Freddy Tarnok
Alex Colome is the White Sox closer and is having a spectacular season with 21 saves and a 2.33 ERA. He does have a FIP that is approaching four, but his track record suggests he will have little problem becoming Atlanta’s closer for the remainder of the season. It probably won’t take a ton of prospect capital to seal the deal either because Colome is owed over $7 million this year and is scheduled to make even more in his third year of arbitration for 2020.
Trade two: Marlins trade Austin Brice to the Braves for Greyson Jenista and Trey Riley
This is one of those bargain-bin signings that the Braves make as they attempt to patch up the several holes in their bullpen. Brice is having a career year for the Marlins, posting a 1.88 ERA in 29 appearances. His track record is underwhelming, so I doubt he will require a tremendous haul, and the Marlins should be looking to flip their relievers for prospects. Jenista and Riley are experiencing their growing pains in the minors, but they are young and have plenty of time to turn things around.
Trade 3: Rangers trade Mike Minor to the Braves for Kyle Wright, Kolby Allard, Thomas Burrows, and Trey Harris
This is the blockbuster we concluded as the most believable for the Braves to make, and we all agree Anthopoulos will be looking to make a big splash. Minor has a year left of control and is in the conversation for the AL Cy Young Award. His WAR is currently sitting at 5.9, which leads pitchers in the AL, and his ERA is at an even 3.00. Given his track record doesn’t scream superstar, the haul should not require what it would take for Noah Syndergaard. The Rangers should sell high on their All-Star lefty, and bringing back four quality prospects in return should be enough to reunite Minor and the Braves.