Another Braves trade for – you guessed it – young pitching

Mr. Uribe, we hardly knew ye. But you did OK. ( (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Mr. Uribe, we hardly knew ye. But you did OK. ( (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Mr. Uribe, we hardly knew ye. But you did OK. ( (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

And away we go. Per multiple reports, the Atlanta Braves have traded Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe to the New York Mets for John Gant and Rob Whalen, and if you have to ask, “What position do the new guys play?”, you haven’t been paying attention.

They’re both pitchers, right-handed pitchers, minor-league pitchers. Neither was ranked among the Mets’ 10 best prospects by Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, MLB.com or ESPN Insider’s Keith Law before the season.

This trade isn’t to be confused with those that yielded Matt Wisler (for Craig Kimbrel) or Max Fried (for Justin Upton) or Mike Foltynewicz (for Evan Gattis) or Shelby Miller and Tyrell Jenkins (for Jason Heyward) or Manny Banuelos (for David Carpenter) or Touki Toussaint (for Phil Gosselin). This is the Braves getting more of what they already have — young pitching.

A month ago, John Hart called young pitching “currency.” The Braves keep adding to their stack. Gant, who’s 22, was bumped to Class AA earlier this season and is 4-5 with a 4.70 ERA for Binghamton. Whalen, who’s 21, is at Port St. Lucie — that’s a high-A affiliate — and is 4-5 with a 3.36 ERA.

Even among minor-leaguers, these aren’t big names. They’re currency of a middling denomination. Maybe one of them will become a long reliever for the Braves. More likely, they’ll be packaged in trades for what the Braves lack, which is everything except young pitching. (OK, so they’ve got some middle infielders in the chain.)

I know fans of the current team will hate this latest move — it’s essentially the Braves’ concession speech for the 2015 season — but this season wasn’t intended be anything but a vehicle for making the club better in 2016 and way better come 2017 and Cobb County. Hart and John Coppolella weren’t about to do anything, trade-wise, if they felt all it would mean was a bump from 79 wins to 83. Viewed through the telescope of long-range planning, do you really disagree?

As for K. Johnson and Uribe: You could see this coming. They were veterans who’ll be free agents at season’s end. They helped the Braves some, but their chief value was that they could be used to buy more young pitching, and so they have. This was the first of the Braves’ 2015 deadline deals; it won’t be the last.

Reader Comments 2

320 comments
SnoopyDawg
SnoopyDawg

Sooooo.... This is getting ready for 2017's move to SunTrust Field??


Might be more talent in AAA than ML...

TNScott
TNScott

Back to watching late 80's Braves baseball again.


DrTruth
DrTruth

"Uribe, it seemed, was already comfortable with his new team, not even 24 hours after he had been traded from Atlanta to the Mets along with Kelly Johnson."


"Because, as his teammates and coaches say, Uribe’s attitude is infectious. It can inject life into a team."


“One of the best teammates I’ve ever had,” said Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner, a former Met who was a teammate of Uribe’s in Los Angeles before Uribe was traded to theBraves earlier this year.

Johnson said: “He makes everybody laugh. He hangs out with everyone.”

Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly added, “People love being around Juan.”

When Turner found out Uribe had been traded to the Mets on Friday night, he told David Wright and Daniel Murphy what they were getting: an ebullient veteran who loves to laugh as much as he loves to win.

“A positive energy,” Turner called Uribe’s presence. “It’s contagious.”


"I feel very good because I got traded to another team that is a contender," Uribe said through an interpreter. "I would have felt bad if I got released or sent home, so I know that I'm going to go to a good team and have the chance to be in the playoffs."



You guys who say, "they were vets who need to be traded because their contracts were expiring" know very little about the game of baseball and how and why certain teams are more successful than others.  


John Hart was an IDIOT to pay the Mets cash to take guys like Uribe and Johnson from the Braves clubhouse....Guys who were producing and have character and leadership abilities.  You're the same guys who will be on here in a couple of weeks bitchin about how the Braves clubhouse has no leadership.


Of course if you've never played the game yourself, I suppose it's easy to dismiss the negative consequences of a move like this by muttering phrases like, "Well, what were we supposed to get for two 46-yr old players" and "They weren't going to be part of the team's future anyway" and "We added two more pitchers to the farm system for these vets with expiring contracts."


True ignorance is when you go around posting messages like that but you're too ignorant to realize the ignorance of those ignorant statements.....


.

DrTruth
DrTruth

@SupremeGrandPoobah Thanks man.  Saw the ball Uribe put off the CF wall Sun for the Mets walk-off win on SportsCenter.....Of course he got mobbed by Mets players.  It's always nice to see good guys like that have fun and have success at playing the game they love.  


Even Fredi said in his own way how much those 2 guys will be missed in the clubhouse.  That's one thing Fredi got right.....And it's one thing John Hart is absolutely oblivious to.

DrTruth
DrTruth

Well, if this is the way it's supposed to go down, then John Hart better get busy.  He's got a stack of expiring contracts, so he better start working the phones to see who he can pay to take them off his hands....

AtlantaSportsVictory
AtlantaSportsVictory

People are acting like we just traded away Hank Aaron and Bath Ruth. Guys, Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe had NO future with this team. They were gone in a month. And we aren't going to the postseason this year. So why keep those two vets for another month? So our record could be slightly less crappy but still under .500? 


Trading them away was definitely the right move. We might as well unload any player who is gone in a month, there is NO point in keeping them. Yeah the pitchers we got back aren't world-beaters, but its not like we gave up star talent. 

SupremeGrandPoobah
SupremeGrandPoobah

@AtlantaSportsVictory So what you're saying was the trade was pointless.  We gave up two of our better hitters, paid the Mets to take them off our hands, and got two minor league pitchers who will never make it to the bigs.  That sound about right?

DrTruth
DrTruth

@AtlantaSportsVictory  Taking a flier on 2 young pitchers makes little sense when you've already liquidated an entire MLB team and taken fliers on dozens of young pitchers.  


Clubhouse leadership and stability count in MLB.  Hart just sees numbers on a page, and he doesn't understand that.


Damage is done when players join the Braves in May and are jettisoned in July for no reason except "their contracts are expiring".  Uribe and Johnson were PRODUCING.  They were the #2 and #4 bats on the team, and what did that get them?  Hart PAID the Mets to take them away!!


Do you get any of this?  Who will want to don a Braves uni if they wake up in the middle of the night -- every night -- in a cold sweat dreaming they were just traded or cut?  How can players perform at their best if they're continuously looking over their shoulder for someone walking out on the field to tell them they were just traded?  This isn't college ball.....These guys are professionals and deserve to be treated as such by the Braves FO.


You do realize Johnson & Uribe were on the field when they were told, right?  I don't care how professional the players are.....Fark around with their heads enough and they no longer want to be part of your party.  They no longer want to be traded to your team.  They don't even want to move up from the minors for fear of losing their job after 1 bad game.


Are these dozens of pitching prospects going to be playing 3rd base, RF, catching, etc?  Then WHO is? 


Are the pitching prospects going to be batting .300 with 20 HRs and 100 RBIs?  Then WHO is?


So I take it you're quite pleased with paying the Mets to take our #2 & #4 bats for the remainder of the year?  Then you must not take your kids to many Braves games.....

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

@AtlantaSportsVictory The trade benefits the Mets. Anything done to benefit the Mets, anytime in any way, is a BAD trade. Period, end-of-story. 

JanicePhoenix
JanicePhoenix

Hey its Mets' pitching and right now that's not so bad.  In fact its the best in the league.

reckingball
reckingball

@JanicePhoenix Some folks think that the Braves should have gotten one the Mets starters for KJ and Uribe.

DrTruth
DrTruth

@SupremeGrandPoobah @reckingball  Exactly!  If these 2 pitching prospects were so desirable, then why couldn't Hart just PAY for them?  Buy them for cash or future considerations.


But paying the Mets AND giving up the $2 & #4 bats plus veteran leadership of these guys just to obtain another couple of pitching prospects when you already haves dozens of them is not John Hart's finest hour.....

DrTruth
DrTruth

@JanicePhoenix "So, the Mets were able to find useful bats that will give manager Terry Collins more options for his batting order and perhaps what has been the worst bench in the majors without giving up any of their cherished frontline prospects."


The Braves got the dregs.  One of them has a losing record in A ball and the other has a losing record in AA ball this season.  Quite amazing that anyone on this planet believes this was somehow a great deal for the Braves.....Especially when John Hart PAID the Mets cash to take Johnson & Uribe....

SeanLB
SeanLB

The funny thing is...if we ever DO trade any of these pitching prospects for hitting prospects, the fans will cry, given that they just KNOW that all of them will win 8 Cy Youngs a piece.



reckingball
reckingball

@SeanLB Not,..'the fans" that will cry, just "some" of the fans,........the disgruntled ones. But they won't cry, they will just do their usual complaining. If it makes them feel better about things, then good for them.

SupremeGrandPoobah
SupremeGrandPoobah

@SeanLB In the case of these two Mets prospects, I am pretty sure no one will ever think they will win Cy Young awards.
 Do they have Cy Young awards for A level players?

JeffCriswell
JeffCriswell

Braves need some bats. We only have a few power guys in the minor leagues. 

DrTruth
DrTruth

@JeffCriswell Yep.  K. Johnson went 2 for 6 & homered for the Mets in his debut on Sat & Uribe put one off the CF wall for a walk-off win yesterday.  Those were the #2 and #4 bats for the Braves.  John Hart gave those bats away, and paid the Mets to take them.  


Unbelievable...

HarMul
HarMul

@DrTruth 

Love your 2 game analysis but the same two guys were not going to help us win the world series. If we can make a bullpen arm from 1 of the two arms we got for half a season when it really matters, its worth it. 

Also, cash considerations does not mean that we paid their entire salary.

Starksy
Starksy

So Joe Simpson and Chip Caray want us to believe their version of the replay at home--despite what the professionals who get paid to make those decisions saw. You know...the ones who aren't wearing Braves cheerleaders skirts under their desks. I'm sure most of the 900 people still watching the broadcasts saw Heyward's foot sneak in there as well but the Sunshine Boys will never let facts get in the way of a good rant.

reckingball
reckingball

@Starksy He was OUT.       St Louis wins a lot of their games with the help of the men in black.

FreeAgentFan
FreeAgentFan

Some of you need to be posting on the Braves section of the mlb website and counter the apoligists who are cluttering up that board. 


Its unreal the John Hart and Liberty Media defenders on there -- there is some good stuff on this blog today


As one fan pointed out -- no team is going to trade us decent MLB power hitters for second tier middle of the pack prospects


I do not see any David Prices or Clayton Kershaws that Hart has stockpiled


Nor are there any Todd Frazier or Mike Trout guys in the system


Hey I would settle for some of the guys in the system to put up the numbers Markakis put up in Baltimore before he got here. 


I am believing in John Hart and this plan less and less as time goes on -- its an insult to this community

ToeMeetsLeather
ToeMeetsLeather

Are the Braves still playing??


Ready for toe-to-meet-leather.  I may take a Braves game in if I need a good nap between now and Labor Day weekend.


No seriously, I have always liked Kelly Johnson. Hated to see him go the first time too. 


Now that school is back in, Braves attendance numbers are going to be brutal with this make shift group. Hard to believe the franchise has gotten in this bad of shape. Thanks Liberty.

FreeAgentFan
FreeAgentFan

@ToeMeetsLeather 


What Liberty cares about is that the franchise is now worth an estimated value of 1.15 bil now -- that was on the Forbes website last time I read


And the savings are not for the farce of building up the farm -- its to budget money for Liberty to pay for their cost of their share of the new building


I am not believing in the build the farm card -- and there is not really much as far as everyday players in the system anyway

DrTruth
DrTruth

@MichaelProcton  So you buy tickets to go to the Ted to watch the farm system....Oh, I see.....

HarMul
HarMul

@DrTruth 

We buy a ticket to watch the team we love and we see that everyone around baseball is ranking us among the best minor league systems, it renews our hope. There are so many people on here who are fair weathered fans, whine every day and ask why they should watch and pay for games. Funny that they are commenting on a blog for as much as they cry about not caring.

ChuckinAlpharetta
ChuckinAlpharetta

@HarMul


Who cares? You know who also had a killer farm system?


The Montreal Expos - they had to because they knew anybody who produced and became a valuable free-agent they had no shot to sign because their payroll was one of the lowest in baseball.


Sound familiar?

DrTruth
DrTruth

@HarMul Well then, you'll be pleased to know that today's AJC Sports page is happy to inform you that season tickets in SunTrust Park will be costing you as much as THREE TIMES as much as similar locations at the Ted.


Triple the ticket price should buy you lots of hope.....ENJOY!!!

DrTruth
DrTruth

More John Hart "activity" fun facts:


Dana Eveland  --  June 7 signed contract with Braves.  July 8 released by Braves.


Cody Martin  --  2011 drafted by Braves, signed June 10, 2011.  July 2 2015 traded to A's for future considerations.


Wil Nieves  --  May 13 signed 1-yr contract with Braves.  June 22 released by Braves.


Philip Gosselin  --  March 2 signed 1-yr contract with Braves.  June 20 traded to D-Backs for Touki Toussiant ($2.7MM contract, projected MLB pitcher in 5-6 yrs) and Bronson Arroyo ($11.75MM contract).


Trevor Cahill  --  April 3, acquired from D'Backs with $6.5MM for Josh Elander.  June 19 released by Braves (still responsible for $5.5MM + $300k buyout for 2016).


Donnie Veal  --  Nov 13 signed minor league contract.  June 9 released by Braves.


John Cornely --  2011 drafted by Braves, signed June 8, 2011.  May 20 2015 traded to Red Sox for cash considerations.


Well, going out to enjoy Sunday afternoon.  No time for this anymore.  Something to ponder.  With all of this talk about rebuilding for the future and next year being better, as near as I can figure (spotrac.com), the Braves only have EIGHT players under contract for next season:


Freeman, Simmons, Markakis, Teheran, Maybin, Arroyo, C. Johnson (wants to be traded), Grilli (possibly done forever).  Obviously there are some options & arbitration cases, but no time to look up now.


Seeing lots of activity......Not very much progress.  Hart's teams have to be (at a minimum) graded against Wren's teams (who had more wins than any other NL team from 2010-14).  With the #2 & #4 bats now gone, it's not a stretch for this team to go sub-400 in the near future and drop completely out of contention EARLY.




DawgDadII
DawgDadII

@reckingball @DrTruth  Thanks to Mr. Wren I had the opportunity to attend a few playoff games and experienced Bottlegate first hand, the all-time forever in baseball lore classic playoff game against the Cardinals. Yes, Wren's teams had a nasty propensity to collapse late in the season, and yes, watching Uggla and BJ try to play baseball was akin to a terrible migraine that would not go away, but the current regime is playing on the borrowed patience and good will of the fans. This is professional sport - the Braves cannot reasonably expect MLB fans to pay to watch a train wreck while the brass congratulates themselves for landing some team's Class A pitching suspects.

DrTruth
DrTruth

@DawgDadII  Well said.  We may get to see a bunch more farm system players soon, or several more trades made using them.  There aren't enough players signed to field a full team next year.  Hart has a stack of 1-yr contracts expiring at season's end.  Maybe his plan is to field 2 outfielders and 3 infielders next season, while still charging full price for tix?

MichaelProcton
MichaelProcton

@DrTruth Love it when somebody feels like they have an argument to make, but they're too lazy to actually find any facts to support their position.

reckingball
reckingball

@DrTruth Again,....the most wins for a stated 5 years period, with the most positive results being,losing in the first round series in 2 of those years, followed by an elimination in a WC game another year, and failing to even make the WC game one year, and finishing 79-83 and 2nd place in the division, 17 games behind the nationals in 2014. What good does having the most wins from 2010 to 2014 do for you, if you can't even sniff the WS.

HarMul
HarMul

@DrTruth 

Is that how you played the game when you were a kid (2 outfielders and 3 infielders)? You seem to have decided that John Hart is not right for this team and you hate this team for not winning. All of the deals you mentioned above, put them against the good ones he has made and you will realize what he has done.

John Hart will do to the Braves in 1-2 years what the Phillies have been trying for the last 3-4 years, what the Mets took almost 4-5 years and what the Nationals took, 8-9 years to do. Think about it!!!

DrTruth
DrTruth

@HarMul "Is that how you played the game when you were a kid (2 outfielders and 3 infielders)?"  OK....I can see I need to break this down for you.  Hart is trading away position players, even starters, for pitching prospects.  At some point you are left with a team that can't field all positions or they start being played by pitching prospects.


"All of the deals you mentioned above, put them against the good ones he has made and you will realize what he has done."  Well, so far what he has done is move a bunch of people around and promise great things from the farm system and traded away most of the fan favorite players and took a team that led the NL in total victories over the past 5 seasons and produced a less than .500 team.


But John Hart isn't finished.  There are still veterans under contract on the roster that need to be traded and the team hasn't gone sub .400.........yet.

Trackbacks

  1. […] and Juan Uribe to the Mets for middling minor-league pitchers John Gant and Rob Whalen — didn’t go over well with some among you. I thought it was fully in keeping with the grand design, but I get paid not to be a fan. I […]

  2. […] been buying young pitching is that young pitching can be used to buy other things. Last week, when the Braves traded Uribe and Kelly Johnson to the Mets for two more young pitchers, some among you asked, “When are they going to get a hitter?” They just did. I can see […]