One of the most famous (or infamous) trade proposals in Braves history turns five years old this year, and with both teams looking like massive disappointments in mid-July, I figured I’d re-visit the proposal that almost shook up both organizations in a massive way and break down the ensuing ripple effect. In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported that the Braves almost traded half of their roster to the Yankees in exchange for a ton of top prospects.
Heyward/simmons/carpenter/bj upton/c Johnson for severino/judge/banuelos/clarkin/sanchez said floated. Nyy didnt pull trigger
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 8, 2016
Yes, you’re reading that correctly; that is Aaron Judge, Luis Severino, and Gary Sanchez that he’s talking about. On paper, this looks like a massive win for the Braves, but when you consider the ripple effect, do they really come out as winners?
As we all know, Heyward was traded to the Cardinals in exchange for Shelby Miller and Tyrell Jenkins. I’ll get to Miller in a moment, but a lot of fans may have forgotten that Jenkins was flipped to the Rangers after a year for Luke Jackson, one of Atlanta’s best bullpen arms in 2021. Shelby Miller’s decline was a sad one, but the Braves sold at the right time, sending Miller to the Diamondbacks in exchange for Dansby Swanson, Aaron Blair, and Ender Inciarte. Aaron Blair is inconsequential, and Inciarte had a few good seasons, but his money is actually a burden on Atlanta right now. Obviously, Dansby Swanson has been Atlanta’s shortstop for a few years now, but his future with the organization is cloudy as the trade deadline approaches.
A fan favorite, Simmons was shipped to Los Angeles for Chris Ellis, Sean Newcomb, and Erick Aybar. The jury is still out on Newcomb, and nothing became much of Aybar. However, there’s a twist to Chris Ellis. Ellis was part of a trade for Jaime Garcia, who was later traded to the Minnesota Twins for 2021 breakout pitcher Huascar Ynoa.
Part of this deal actually came to fruition, as David Carpenter was traded to the Yankees in exchange for Manny Banuelos. Banuelos was designated for assignment by the Braves after injuries nagged him during the 2015 season and 2016 offseason.
Okay, strap in for this one. Upton and Craig Kimbrel were traded to the Padres for Carlos Quentin, Jordan Paroubeck, Cameron Maybin, Matt Wisler, and the 41st pick in the 2015 Draft. Upton didn’t pan out, but it seems like a paltry return until you realize that the 41st pick in the 2015 Draft was Austin Riley. Quentin was designated for assignment after the trade, and Paroubeck never came close to the majors, but Cameron Maybin was good for the Braves. They flipped him to Detroit for Ian Krol and Gabe Speier, the latter being part of the Dansby Swanson trade mentioned earlier. Matt Wisler was with the Braves for a while, but he was part of the package to the Reds that got the Braves Adam Duvall.
For a while, Johnson looked like he could have been a big part of Atlanta’s future when he came to the Braves along with Justin Upton from the Diamondbacks. He finished second in the NL batting title race in his first season in Atlanta. However, after a contract extension, he faltered, and the Braves were forced to make a bad money swap. Atlanta got Michael Bourn back, but he was not the Michael Bourn from the early 2010s. The Braves also got fan favorite Nick Swisher. Neither guy brought back anything in a potential trade, and both were designated for assignment.
Obviously, we know that Severino, Sanchez, and Judge are solid pros, and we know what became of Banuelos, but what about the other name? Clarkin was eventually traded to the White Sox with other prospects in exchange for a package involving Todd Frazier. He has not appeared in the majors and pitched for the Rockies in AAA in 2021, posting a 7.31 ERA
Obviously, both teams would have taken very different paths if this trade was completed, but what a butterfly effect this rejected trade created for the Yankees and Braves