The Matt Olson trade will go down as one of the biggest in franchise history. And even though Olson is struggling at the moment, I think the Braves will feel plenty comfortable with the move a few years from now. He’s already one of the best first basemen in baseball, is just entering his prime, and the Braves were able to lock him up for eight-plus years at a more than reasonable rate. For a team in win-now mode with a glaring need at the position, adding Olson was the right decision. Still, that doesn’t mean the Braves might not look back and wish they hadn’t given up Shea Langeliers.
Before the trade, I had Langeliers as my top-rated prospect in the organization and viewed him as the most untradable prospect because of the Braves’ lack of options at catcher long-term. Now in AAA for the A’s, he’s showing why I was so high on him.
2022 stats (21 Games): .316/.422/.711/1.133, 9 home runs, 21 RBIs
Keep in mind, Langeliers was drafted for his defensive ability and recorded a ridiculous 42% caught stealing rate last year between Mississippi and Gwinnett. His bat has always been thought of as something that would have to catch up, and boy has it ever.
Langeliers’ stat line is something out of a video game, and while regression is undoubtedly in line, he has shown enough consistency with the stick to warrant being one of the top catching prospects in the game. Langeliers is giving off major J.T. Realmuto vibes, and if that’s what he turns out to be in the majors, it’s going to sting a little — no matter how good Matt Olson is with the Braves.
With that being said, I would still make the trade over again if I had the chance. Unlike most trades, I think this will be one both organizations look back on as a win-win. The Braves filled a massive hole with the best option on the market, and the Athletics received several prospects with high ceilings. However, if there was ever a way this trade could have gone down without including Langeliers, then that is something the Braves will ultimately regret.
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