Shocker! The Braves just traded Maybin for … pitching!

Cameron Maybin, shown here in a lesser moment. (AP Photo/Jon Barash)

If I’d had to pick the Atlanta Brave most apt to be traded this offseason, it would have been the guy who just got traded. Cameron Maybin was dealt to the Detroit Tigers, the team that drafted him with the 10th pick in Round 1 in 2005, for …

Do I even need to say it?

Two young pitchers.

Both are left-handed, and that’s about the best you can say for either.

Ian Krol bounced between Detroit and Class AAA Toledo last season. In the majors, he had a 5.79 ERA and 1.714 WHIP (walks/hits per inning pitched); he walked 17 in 28 innings. All of the above are terrible stats for any pitcher and worse for a reliever, which Krol is. Gabe Speier, also a reliever, spent last season in Class A.

Krol is 24; this marks the third time he has been traded. Speier is 20; this marks the second time for him. Neither will rank among the Braves’ best dozen pitchers under 25. Neither is a guarantee to be here long.

So why make this trade? Because Maybin is 28 and coming off one of his better big-league seasons, though that’s not to say he was anything special. He hit .267 with 10 homers and 59 RBIs. He’s not a great defender, and he plays center field, where you’d like to have a good defender. (Then again, didn’t the Braves just trade the best defender in baseball?)

Maybin had a WAR value of 0.6 last season. By way of contrast, fan favorite Melvin Upton Jr. had a WAR value of 1.6 for San Diego, and he played in barely half the Padres’ games. You might recall that the Braves gave Craig Kimbrel to San Diego — Maybin was part of that deal, though not the biggest part — to make M-Up Jr. disappear because the latter was owed a lot of money. Maybin is owed $8 million next season, which is way less than Upton money but still a lot for a replacement-level CF. That’s why you make this trade.

I thought the Braves might get a bit more than Krol and Speier for Maybin, but they did say they wanted to improve their bullpen. Krol might be of some help there. (Though not with a 1.714 WHIP.) And let’s face it: Maybin held down center field here for a year, but nobody in baseball sees him as anything more than just another guy.

As for who’ll hold down center field next year … you got me. MLB.com rates Mallex Smith as only the Braves’ 15th-best prospect. (Braxton Davidson, who’s No. 11, and Dustin Peterson, who’s No. 17, are seen as corner outfielders.) Michael Bourn has next to nothing left. There have to be more trades coming.

But that’s the thing about these Braves. There’s always another trade coming. At some point there’ll be one wherein they give some of these young pitchers to get some everyday players. Won’t there?

From earlier today: Would the Braves trade Shelby Miller? Yes, if …

Further reading: Memo to Coppolella: Don’t vent.

Still further: The Braves can’t afford to trade Freeman.

Further still: Would the Braves trade Freeman? No.

Even further: The Braves’ audacity inspires … well, awe.

Also further: Say what you want about the Braves, but they are not afraid.

And further: Would the Braves trade Simmons? Sure.

Reader Comments 0

49 comments
Paul R Denault
Paul R Denault

Don't worry about the season ticket holders getting all the good seats at Sun Trust Park, there'll be plenty of room to move around.  

Paul R Denault
Paul R Denault

Say hey...Coppolella, what's next? Trade Freeman and Markakis for more mediocre pitching prospects!



SkokieDog
SkokieDog

Well, we've been hearing for some time now that you can never have too much pitching.

Paul R Denault
Paul R Denault

After Justin Upton, Evan Gattis, and Jason Heyward were traded, I made the prediction the Braves wouldn't win 70 games and I was right. Now, after the latest fiasco of trading Simmons and Maybin I predict the 2016 Braves will lose at least 100 games.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

So by Coppy and Braves saying Freeman will not be traded must give the freedom to dump any other Braves players who make more than the minimum MLB salary. Truth is Coppy already shopped Freddie and had no takers So now look for Markakis to be next ,followed closely by Teheran. And Mike Minor likely will be let go ,he would be too expensive (around $5 million) to keep on the roster in 2016.Look for Shelby Miller to be shopped to a AL contender as part of the Braves 2016 "Melvin"trade,Nick Swisher and his $15 million salary will be dumped as the sweetener in the deal.

The goal for Coppy and Liberty is to cut the payroll in 2016 and move on to Cobb in 2017 before even trying to be competitive again.The 2016 Braves season will be a season long Throwback Year to 1986 ,a year when the Braves lost 100 games and regularly drew less than 2500 fans to home games.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

Krol is just more of the AAAA type of reliever that inhabited the putrid Braves bullpen the second half of 2015. Liberty and the Braves Front office are making moves primarily to dump salary and improving the team is secondary to shedding payroll.

wcufan
wcufan

What the Braves and you are missing is that Maybin gave the fan life.  He was a fan favorite in how he played the game and related to the fans.  Who knows how he progresses from here, he could become very good.  He certainly has all the tools.  Your definition of his  defense is questionable as well.  I watched over 95 % of the games this past year and I thought he was very good out there.  One other thing is the Tigers saw something they liked in him so don't include them as casting him as just another guy.  I think they got a steal.  Still a Braves fan for life here but quit making stupid trades.

Mr. Negative
Mr. Negative

Haaaahaaaa....yess Coppy, were not tanking it. And Liberty isnt giving you a kickback on the $8 mil either. Maybe you can get a couple of cases of cheap single ply toilet paper or some Chinese horsemeat hotdogs for Teheran next. A couple of kegs of watered down beer for Freeman. "THE BRAVES ARE SHOPPING ANYBODY OWED MONEY"...never a truer rumor. What a scam Liberty is pulling here.

BigBillPipps
BigBillPipps

Any guesses on where Liberty plans to move the team, after this perpetual tank job leads to an empty stadium, and the income totally dries up? Vegas? Nashville? Charlotte?

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@DawgDadII 

No , 

Liberty already has moved the team to Cobb County.Their new multiplex stadium will open in 2017. Liberty already got a sweetheart deal from the tax payers of Cobb County and have no need to move.Ugly truth is Liberty media will still make big profits from owning the Braves even if attendance drops well below 1 million fans.

BigBillPipps
BigBillPipps

Hey any other FORMER season tix holders want to anty up for a plane banner calling out LIBERTY/Hart/Coppy for trashing a once proud franchise? Ted T. where are you man? Can't you write a check & clean house in the front office, instead of on the lineup card?

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

There were $8 million reasons the Braves made this trade.Liberty's salary dumps continue, only Question is Who's Next?

Medawgu
Medawgu

Thank you for consistent praise of the CobbCounty Braves this year. We realize that the AJC relies on advertising revenue and and access to the Braves players/clubhouse to make a living. of cousre this means you are their lackey but heck we always  knew that. 

Harpie
Harpie

This Braves organization turns my stomach'

Hayblack
Hayblack

Okay, Mr. Coppolella, I have been fully behind your rebuilding and I fully believe that you have to have a quality pitching staff, a la Braves of 1990's. However, the Cameron Maybin trade has pushed me over the edge, but it's less about Cameron Maybin than it is about putting a team on the field in 2016 and beyond.  With all the pitching you've traded for, is the intent to use pitchers as position players?  Certainly a new strategy! I can't believe your statement, "We are excited about Ian Krol..."!  No offense to Ian Krol, but what's so exciting about a 5.79 ERA in 33 appearances in 2015 & a 4.91 ERA in a career 110 appearances/88 innings??  Saving millions on the field will cost you multi-millions at the box office.  I will always be a Braves fan but if I want to see a minor league team play I will go to see the Rome Braves.

POV1948
POV1948

@Hayblack The Simmons deal did it for me. Not just because he's young and under contract for 5 years ... and not just because he's the best defensive SS in MLB and the team is supposedly all about pitching which needs great up the middle defense... but because Simmons might do something spectacular at any moment. On an otherwise hard-to-watch team, that is something to care about. His defense was worth watching, plus the runs he saved. 


I'd have a smidge of respect for #TankerJohn if he'd admit this is an all-out tank job, that he's comfortable losing 100+ games next year because obviously he is, and that Braves will be fortunate to compete in 3-4 years.  Instead he whines about being misunderstood. Hey Coppy - own up that the baby is really ugly.

Home Team Critic
Home Team Critic

How did Atlanta's teams end up being run by northern twits TD and Crappy who probably were the last picks in their neighborhood games? That Crappy never gets hitters shows just how far off the deep end he is.

All the folks who like this had no entention of attending last year or the next?

And 2017 will not be better. Higher prices and the same pathetic product.

Ask Freddie and Shelby what they really think about the endless trading.

Moneyball
Moneyball

I understand that MLB is requiring all teams to install netting at their stadiums to protect fans from foul balls. The Braves should request an exemption as foul balls will be falling harmlessly into empty seats.

khd713
khd713

Why do so many fans not understand that the Braves are far, far from done with this reconstitution? The position players are coming. It may be a while, but they are coming. The payroll is almost where they want it, and they should have some gems among all the pitching they've picked up. Then, and only then, will begin the very deliberate process of finding the fielders and, most important, the bats. It's a long process and it won't happen next year, and probably not even the next. But it's coming, and when it does the same fans who are criticizing now will be in line to buy tickets to see an exciting young team that, if all goes as planned, will be competing for a World Series in a few years - something no Braves team has done since 1999. Patience please, and then if the plan fails, criticize all you want.

Hayblack
Hayblack

@khd713  I, like you, held a very positive outlook for 2016 & beyond because great pitching beats great hitting most of the time.  But trading Cameron Maybin for 2 more pitchers has quelled my optimism, not so much because of Cameron Maybin but because, as Mr. Coppolella said, "We are excited about Ian Krol..."!  I'm not feeling the excitement over another pitcher with a 5.79 ERA in 33 appearances.  However, I think I have figured out the Braves revolutionary strategy.  They will field mostly pitchers as position players, so instead of going to the bullpen, they bring the left fielder in to pitch and the pitcher goes to left field.....just like Little League!

BigBillPipps
BigBillPipps

@khd713 Dude, where is your shroom source, could use some of those? The 'plan' has failed. You've gotten rid of your best players to save expense, and signed A & AA pitching prospects. Why trust crooks from Liberty Media? Why do you have loyalty to THOSE guys? Makes no sense dude... maybe ur just trolling I guess... or yeah the shrooms

DAWGnGA
DAWGnGA

Tell me just what is the payroll looking like?  Uggla is off the books, both Uptons, Simmons and anyone with a contract over 3 years other than Freeman, Teheran Miller and Markakis.


Another thing tell me please what the starting line up is going to look like today?


If the rumored trades of Miller, Teheran and Freeman go thru, there are some very good position players coming this way.  Then again you have no proven pitching (Minor isnt under contract), and all 1-3 year players.


So today we have in the outfield, Bourn, Swisher and Markakis with Oliveria, Aybar, Peterson, Freeman and AJ in the infield.  No bullpen to speak of, and 2 proven starting pitchers.  Yep I see a 110 loses this year 


DawgDadII
DawgDadII

I would LOVE to see them trade Freeman, Teheran, and Miller for six or seven quality position players prospects ready to break in at the MLB level. That would actually make sense, which means it ain't happening.

POV1948
POV1948

@DawgDadII Why discard proven MLB performers who are young and under control for several years for prospects who may or may not prove out?  (Admittedly Teheran needs to re-prove himself).  However #TankerJohn no doubt would go your route if somebody is willing to deal with him for these guys. Beware what you wish for - we could wind up with a clutch of can't-miss kids who do miss.

Moneyball
Moneyball

When it comes time for Crappy to start unloading pitchers, it would serve him right if other GMs say something like "Thanks but no thanks, we're looking for arms that are ready for the big leagues."

BigBillBounceback
BigBillBounceback

Next year when they move out of the projects, this looks like a great new start. Can't wait to go to a game and not have to be harassed for some change..

BigBillPipps
BigBillPipps

@BigBillBounceback HA! That's hilarious...Think the bums won't make their way to Cobb... don't worry I can guarantee you they'll still be following you. What's more intriguing is your willingness, to waste hard earned $ on this tank job that was once a proud franchise. Tell Liberty to go F themselves like the rest of us.

Paper-Boy
Paper-Boy

People, people, people.  It's all about the move to Cobb, the clientele that they want to attract; you know, BravesLand.  Liberty Media (LM) will get a piece of all the action throughout the development.  Follow the money.  Corporations are people too-and imminent domain were supreme court decisions.


Did I mention that there will be a Roxy in BravesLand?  And Comcast?


Maybe LM will get tired of "ruining", I mean running a ball club and sell that asset to a rich one person/family owner.  Who could then pay LM rent; like the mob.


But in the meantime. . . I love this dog and pony show.

Paper-Boy
Paper-Boy

They're getting whiter for their new home in Cobb County.

DJDASH14
DJDASH14

Does the Nick Markakis signing keep looking more and more ridiculous to anyone else at this point? Just curious what the real game plan here is. I'm also curious where all the money to sign players is coming from after 2016 if they can't afford to keep Simmons who was a couple of years away from making real money? I miss Frank Wren at this point at least he tried to put a winning team on the field. What if none of these pitching prospects pan out? Didn't the Braves draft Simmons as a pitcher? I'm guessing they are following that model and hope that all these pitchers become great position players. I don't know this is turning into a 5 year plan. Cobb County Your getting a AAAA ball club.

PSU92
PSU92

Let Coppy do his job ... I can live through 2-3 years without making the playoffs to eventually be competitive instead of the last 15 years without a 1st round playoff series win. Getting dead money off the books carried over from BJ for warm bodies (or nothing at all if needed) creates flexibility to actually pay really good players at some point. All the pitching is going to be used next year when the free agent market has nobody worth their weight and contending clubs are willing to trade offensive talent to the only team willing to trade a pitcher. Take a long nap next summer and wake up in the spring of 2017 to watch a real team take the field ... instead of the "can't win when it counts" teams we've been fielding for the last 15 years.

BigBillPipps
BigBillPipps

@PSU92 Andrelton Simmons = Dead $ - Hmmmm... not sure I follow. 'can't win when it counts,' how about teams that can lose less than 100 games : ) That interest you? 2017 will come & go & the A-level pitching ain't getting us anywhere. Nice of you to believe Liberty's PR, but you don't just sell off your assets for pennies on the dollar & magically become relevant again out of thin air. This is clearly a $ decision. The Braves will suck until these bozos are run out of town selling to the highest bidder... How can u support these cronies trashing what was our best franchise?

POV1948
POV1948

$ off the payroll was what Braves got for Maybin.  Clearly that is Job One, Two, Three, etc. 

Hayblack
Hayblack

@POV1948  Saving a million dollars on the field & losing multi-millions at the box office doesn't seem like a viable economic tradeoff.  If you want to watch minor league games, there's one closeby in Rome & another in Gwinnett.

DamonH
DamonH

I get the feeling that next season you're going to be able to count the number of fans in the stadium on 2 hands

Kwajbraves
Kwajbraves

@DamonH  Is that counting Coppy's severed limbs after he trades FF? 

DrTruth
DrTruth

Deal Maybin and get stuck with Bourn & Swisher just to save approx $6.5 Million?  And 2 more sub-par arms?


I can't wait to hear the Hart/Coppy lovers make sense of this one.  Maybin was a good clubhouse guy.  He will be missed....

MaybeMaybeNot
MaybeMaybeNot

Babe Ruth started out as a pitcher, and he ended up pretty darn good as a hitter. 


I think Coppy knows exactly what he is doing and some of these pitchers are inevitably going to have to play the field since there are no every day position players left. 

DAWGnGA
DAWGnGA

@MaybeMaybeNot

and how many Babe Ruths have there been in the last 100 yrs?  We need 8....  They dont even have to all have power, just play the field at this point

TideDawg
TideDawg

I think with what the Braves have left, any trades now will be for equipment.

TideDawg
TideDawg

Not a big deal! Everyone should realize that they also have to stock the minor leagues with players. Come spring training the Braves will have the smallest payroll in the last 25 years of MLB. All of their players will be making minimum wage.

Hayblack
Hayblack

@TideDawg  I agree, to a point, because Wren totally decimated the long time premier Braves farm system for "flash in the pan" free agent veterans.  And, rebuilding the farm system was a #1 objective but now we have a team full of pitchers, and sorry to say, too few quality pitchers.  Coppolella said, "We are excited about Ian Krol...", from the Cameron Maybin trade.  Somebody please help me get excited about a pitcher with a 5.79 ERA in 33 appearances!

Kwajbraves
Kwajbraves

Will Coppy start crying again if we comment on how bad this trade is? 

JCHASTAIN1
JCHASTAIN1

New name for the Braves is the Atlanta Prospects . They will have 9 pitching prospects playing in the field instead of regular players.

Scroach
Scroach

Is anyone tired of hearing "It was tough to trade (fill in name)?