The Braves trade Heyward: I understand it, but I still hate it

The man has a glove. And an arm. (Curtis Compton/AJC photo)

The man has a glove. And an arm. (Curtis Compton/AJC photo)

The man has a glove. And an arm. (Curtis Compton/AJC photo)

I understand this trade, and I’d note that, as recently as spring 2013, Shelby Miller was being lumped with Matt Harvey and Jose Fernandez and Matt Moore in the next wave of Great Young Arms. It will be fascinating to see what Roger McDowell can make of Miller, who hasn’t done all that much since. That said …

I hate this trade. I understand it, but I hate it. I hate trading a talent of such magnitude as Jason Heyward at any age, let alone a talent of 25 years, three months and eight days. He’s the best right fielder — and maybe the best fielder at any position — in the sport. He’s a terrific baserunner. He’s not yet the hitter we all expected him to be, but I repeat: He’s 25 years, three months and eight days old.

I understand that the Braves might well have lost Heyward to free agency 12 months hence. Were I the Braves, that’s a risk I’d have run. Better to take a chance at keeping him than to ship him to St. Louis, where you just know — well, don’t you? — he’s going to turn into Stan Musial.

Much more later. John Hart is holding a conference call at the top of the hour, and we’ll see what he has to say.

Here’s the “more,” via myajc: Trading Heyward brings a glimpse of cold Braves’ reality.

 

Reader Comments 2

111 comments
redhotsports
redhotsports

Heyward had fewer doubles than the fleet-footed Chris Johnson and fewer HR than BJ.  Don't get confused - he's not a solid MLB hitter.  There were back-up catchers in the league with more HR and Denard Span had a better slugging percentage.  Jason may have made some highlight reel catches, but he's not a long-term solution for a team looking for offense.

lovesthegame
lovesthegame

Heyward is a great defensive player, but he has too many holes in his swing.  This past year he batted .169 with only 2, doubles and 2 Hrs against LH pitchers.  You cannot build the club around a player who won't adapt.  Maybe he does better in St. Louis but there was no guarantee that he would be affordable had we kept him.  He has also missed a lot of time due to injuries, although the hit in the face was unavoidable.  Just waiting for the exit of the Uptons so we can start anew.

Mr. Negative
Mr. Negative

You're gonna be hating a lot more the next few years. I'm waiting for the Kimbrel trade. Cheapass Liberty will make them package BJ with him to dump his worthless value and the Boobs will get a very small return, but it will be $75 mil in Liberty's pockets to split around for the Christmas bonuses. Maybe they can get the Cobb taxpayers to pay the players salaries, too.

Jake from State Farm
Jake from State Farm

This is just a result of baseball and free agency. I am sure we all would like Heyward to stay and be a part of the team. At this point in his career, he has not shown he can be the anchor for a team offensively like a Buster Posey or a Stanton and the money he is going to want can't be justified for a team like the Braves who have so many holes and a sub-par minor league system. Those are just the facts and if you don't let emotion play a role in this, then every fan should realize it was necessary. The Braves should do the same with Justin Upton and start trying to build this team back up for a few years down the road. It is the spot Wren has put the organization with many bad contracts. The fan base needs to get used to this for a few years, because this can't be fixed overnight.

ShovelPlease
ShovelPlease

Heyward was my favorite Brave and I believe he always played hard.  I don't like the trade, but I also don't think he's going to turn into Stan Musial.  He's been in the league long enough to create a body of work that can be extrapolated over a career.  He will be a .275 hitter, smack about 20-25 homers per year, field great, and get hurt a lot.  That's not Stan the Man territory.

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

And those of you with that "but we loved us some Jason" attitude, spare me please!! If you loved Jason so much, where were you in September when this sad sack team lost almost every game. I didn't see or hear you out there rooting them on and rallying them to fight for victories - because you weren't there.

And neither was I - but at least I'm not offering up this lame "but I loved Jason" stuff now that he's gone. Give me a break!

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

Bradley, this is why you're an underpaid columnist and John Hart is a highly paid executive. This move is genius and you're still sniffing on Heyward's jock while the Braves made a great move. Go tell BJ you hope he doesn't get traded too!

devounknown1000
devounknown1000

During 90's when Braves played in all them playoffs games the problem have never been pitching always hitting, need some bats on this team.


GO BRAVES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

devounknown1000
devounknown1000

Braves could have a outfielder with Heyward, j upton, gattis


This move was very dumb point blank period, the guy is only 24 years old and you probably could have kept him for about 10mill a year for 7years, that worth for anything when you trying win a championship.


best defensive RF in baseball.


GO BRAVES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

theoriginaltruth
theoriginaltruth

@devounknown1000  Wrong.........if they could have signed him for $10Mi x 7 he would not have been traded..........period. The numbers being talked about were more like double that...$140Million up to $200Million.

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

Anyone that doesn't like this trade is clueless - take up football!

cloudodust
cloudodust

Well, we go from an outfield that was 1/3 good on defense to what..? The Braves as a whole struggled at the plate. Anybody been to Gwinnett last year to see the up and coming outfielders at the AAA level.?  J.T. is a hope...Too bad B.J. isn't tradeable. No Gold Glove, no bat...Just my opinion. Alas, Go Braves. Go on Heyward and good luck out there with an organization that will hone your skills. I wish you the best...

Falcons63
Falcons63

OK...  I like Heyward as much as anyone... but the "best fielder at any position"?  A little less hyperbole please!  I think the Braves came to realize that Heyward has holes in his swing that may not be fixed.  Watching the Braves play the Mets and listening to Keith Hernandez analyze Heyward was very enlightening.  He spoke of him "not being a natural hitter".. being "very mechanical" and "pushing the bat thru the strike zone".  Sure he is a good RFer.. But you have to get more production from your corner OF spots than 11hr's and a .271 avg. You never know.  Heyward may blossom in another city.  But with him it's all potential... not production.  His value will never be higher.  Better to trade him now than to have to overpay him in two years to keep him or get nothing for him.  Getting a possible top 2 rotation guy and a bullpen asset for a weak hitting(11hr's) RFer and a 30 something off injured setup man seems to be a pretty good deal.  However, this is a deal that the results won't really be known for a couple of years.

seminoleking
seminoleking

dumb. the move wouldve been to KEEP santana at the higher salary he wanted by clearing space with a justin upton trade. Of the two, i wouldve resigned heyward because heyward brings MORE to the table overall than streaky hitting justin upton. Just dumb braves..........They shouldve cleared money and offered santana what he wanted to stay.

BobbyDawg
BobbyDawg

We've got to have great pitching to be a great team. Glavine, Maddux, and Smoltz didn't happen over night. Whatever it takes to build a great group of starting pitchers I'm in favor of.

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

Are you Frank Wren's sister by chance?

JayDawgBham
JayDawgBham

If Heyward does turn it around next year and J Upton leaves they could always go after him again in free agency. Love his defense, speed and arm but someone has to fix those holes in his swing. If the Cards can do it and the Braves can get him back after the swing is fixed then fantastic. 

mike91
mike91

Stupid idiots!When will the braves realize the problem is the offense.Im threw with this dumb franchise.

JP0933
JP0933

where is this terrific player? he's a 260 hitter with marginal power. he's a complimentary piece at best. That's why St louis wants him. he can put the cards over the top. he won't do that for the Braves

BravesFanInNashville
BravesFanInNashville

@JP0933 It's hard not to love his defense and we'll surely miss that at times but The Braves built their long run on PITCHING and they now have Teheran, Wood and Miller to anchor this staff.  They're all young, very good and probably only going to get better.   In our park, pitching is the premium, followed by solid defense and good contact, low strikeout hitters..   I like this move for the long run as we got two solid arms that could pitch as well as the guys that are going to get BIG contracts this winter...


CardiganBoy
CardiganBoy

" ... that the Braves might well have lost Heyward to free agency 12 months hence. "


Reverse-engineer that statement so it's an indictment rather than a rationalization.  The only way they lose Heyward 12 months hence is if they're too darned cheap to re-sign him; which they are.  


If any of these guys who we got from the Cards turn into All Stars, is there any doubt the Liberty Media/Cobb/Atlanta Braves will let them walk too when the time comes?  Of course they will.


And if I'm still alive and kicking, I'l look forward to your next ses la vie blog, Bradley.


John Hart.  The architect of the Cleveland Indians of the  1990's.  The only team the Braves could beat in a WS.  So glad he's carrying out LM's marching orders now.


hardworkinman
hardworkinman

@CardiganBoy Heyward had already informed the Braves that he intended to test the free agent market after next season. If mlb.com is anywhere near correct, and Heyward gets close to a $200 million contract, there is no way he is worth that to the Braves. Teams spend $200 million to get a player that is an MVP caliber guy. Heyward is a great player, but he would not help the Braves' offense which is their weakest link right now. Braves need gap to gap hitters with speed that can hit for high average.Those type guys don't cost $200 million.

fcbowers
fcbowers


absolutely no choice in the matter...with JHart's & JShuerholz's experience and brains in the same room...wow...they've accurately expressed the reluctance and difficulty this was decision-wise...now all I can say is I hope it works out for all l4 players and both clubs...Cardinals and Braves...class organizations and these players seem the same way...best wishes and good luck to everybody...now let's hope we see them all in the playoffs...go Braves... :-)

CardiganBoy
CardiganBoy

@fcanaday Wow indeed.  What  do you play golf with JHart & JShuerholz, dude?  "Class".  The last refuge of the chronic underachievers.




UsedUpCoaches
UsedUpCoaches

I think this a good trade in getting pitching. Heyward was always in between types of player; meaning power hitter or defensive clutch base stealing player. He may never reach his potential or he may be a HOF for the Cards in 20 years. The important thing is to get rid of BJ like we did Uggla and the clubhouse will improve 100%. I 'd like to trade J.Upton and C.Johnson for a starting OF or 3B. We should resign Harang to give us innings next year. I liked Heyward, but this makes sense because he had already decided to walk after 2015. TO ALL BRAVES FANS our single biggest problem is : absentee owners who don't care about winning only a tax write off. The BRAVES WAY won't return till we have new owners !!!

SOB
SOB

That's it. Color me gone with this bit of idiocy. Complete lunacy if the team wanted to play above .500 ball. Play away whatever B. J. and Justin. Gattis? Now there's a Gold Glover in the making if I ever saw one! Pure idiocy! I'll not be watching or attending any games. Go Cards and anybody not named the Atlanta Braves.

Stinger2
Stinger2

@SOB With an attitude like you have.......see ya!

theoriginaltruth
theoriginaltruth

@SOB  If Hart succeeded in getting rid of you, then the trade was better than we ever dreamed.

58Supersports
58Supersports

@SOB  keep on trucking and don't you come back no more, no more...no more

reckingball
reckingball

Well,.......maybe if the Braves didn't have $45 million dollars going in the hole to BJ, and another $13 or $14 million going down the drain to Danny boy, they might of been able to keep JHey.

But, this could be a good deal in the long run.

bufordpurvis
bufordpurvis

Maybe it's confirmation bias but Heyward choked in a lot of situations. He is a great outfielder, though. It's a tough choice. If the Braves are looking to return to their 90's roots of having great pitching, this is a good trade. My concern is with Miller's arm. You get nervous with these young pitchers who may have gotten overworked and their arm is a ticking bomb waiting to snap.

Stinger2
Stinger2

@bufordpurvis Would you rather have an old pitcher who may have gotten overworked whose are is more likely a ticking bomb waiting to snap?   

ElemennoP
ElemennoP

Yeah, the Braves should just keep holding on to him for another 12 months hoping he'll snap out of it.....much like the success they had by waiting on Dan Uggla.

DewieCheatem_n_Howe
DewieCheatem_n_Howe

A soulless corporate ownership doesn't really inspire me to send any money their way.  Especially when they serve notice more than once that they aren't willing to invest in creating a winner.

BravesFaninFL
BravesFaninFL

Maybe if the Braves had competent hitting coaches, he'd have turned into Hank Aaron here instead of Stan Musial in St Louis.  The Wren administration was a complete cluster, and there's going to be painful moves to start the recovery from that...of course, Fredi should go too, but alas.

ChuckinAlpharetta
ChuckinAlpharetta

Let's ask ourselves why we "have" to trade him.

Because we have absentee owners squeezing this franchise for every drop of juice, such that we are effectively the new Expos. We have to trade our favorites now that we can't play with the big boys on the free agent market. We have to assume every valuable player hitting the free agent market will leave.

Because of our meagre payroll. Those are the people that deserve our ire. Those are the cheapskates that are costing us our homegrown talent.

ShootinTheHooch
ShootinTheHooch

I loved watching JHey play defense and run the bases, but he's got a Giancarlo Stanton body with a Tommy LaStella bat. 


If the Cards do turn Heyward into Musial, it will still be a good trade if the Braves turn Miller into Smolz.

BravesFanInNashville
BravesFanInNashville

@LADawg I agree Miller could be great for years to come...  As we learned with Mike Hampton and now Beachy and Medlen it's better to have pitching be under cost control and put the money into position players.  So many pitchers sign big contracts and then miss a year or more with injury..   It's rare that a position player misses more than 15 games at a time due to being on the DL unless it's a freak injury.

chasjons
chasjons

Yep too bad to see him go.  I think it is the correct move for the team however.  I think we saw his peak years and I don't think he will turn into .300 hitter anytime soon.  But, more power to him if he does.  Will be missed. 

RoyalDawg
RoyalDawg

Another thought- if Greg Walker couldn't get Heyward to hit above a .270/12 HR clip, good luck to the Cardinals.

RoyalDawg
RoyalDawg

Heyward has never been as good as he LOOKS- he is a great defender and a very avaerage offensive player. Some fool will pay him much more than he deserves based on his potential, but we have been fantasizing about his potential ever since his first ML at-bat.

Don't get me wrong, he was probably my favorite Brave, but this deal simply makes sense. Good lucj Jay-Hey!

scottylovesthetitans
scottylovesthetitans

I have loved the Braves since 1973, but as of now, I am done with them.  Not that they care, but I will invest my time and money in something else.

dirtybird33
dirtybird33

We couldn't keep him. He will get more money in free agency than he deserves. Good move as we get a couple decent prospects for him now. It's time the Braves move on! Now, let's get rid of the Upton bros! 

WDE
WDE

Terrific player and young man best of luck to him thanks for the memories JHey !

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

So, so disappointed.   He was a terrific player, and I'll miss watching him every summer night.  He was a great Brave.   Our loss, not his. 

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