The Braves at the deadline: Don’t expect much (but you never know)

One man John Coppolella will never trade: The legendary Walter Banks. (M. Bradley)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The word around Cooperstown on Sunday was that the Atlanta Braves aren’t apt to do much of note before today’s trade deadline arrives and might do nothing at all. I still think they’ll offer up a little something, mostly because I don’t believe John Coppolella is capable of inaction.

The Braves’ general manager was at Sunday’s Hall of Fame inductions to honor the GM who’d hired him away from the Yankees a decade ago. Coppolella’s presence shouldn’t be read as an admission that he’d punted on any/all trades. Cellular coverage is available in New York state. Dayton Moore, another John Schuerholz disciple, was likewise in the audience, and his Royals re-acquired that Atlanta favorite Melky Cabrera from the White Sox on Sunday.

(We also note, not for the first time, that Kansas City is where all former Braves land, sometimes more than once.)

This much remains true: Having traded Jaime Garcia (since re-gifted by the Twins to the Yankees), the Braves mightn’t be selling anything anyone wants to buy. Nobody has a crying need for Matt Adams, the Yankees having partially addressed their first-base concern by moving Chase Headley across the infield after acquiring Todd Frazier from the White Sox, who are selling to beat the band. Nobody is desperate to rent Brandon Phillips for two/three months.

Every contender always wants relief cover, but Jim Johnson has gone so wrong — he’s no longer closing for the Braves — that he has become a harder sell, and his contract isn’t the same as when Braves traded him to L.A. in 2015. He was a rental then. This time he’s owed $4.5 million next season. There’s still a chance somebody will take him, but it’s a lesser chance than we figured it’d be.

The Braves wouldn’t mind clearing right field for Ronald Acuna — I saw him play Friday night in Dansby Swanson’s Triple-A debut and color me impressed — but who wants Nick Markakis, who’s owed $11 million next season? Matt Kemp is on the disabled list and has a big contract, so he’s surely beyond moving. Kurt Suzuki will be a free agent, so I guess he’s a possibility.

A year ago, the Braves were asking a windfall for Julio Teheran, which is why he went nowhere. Were they to trade him today, they’d be getting pennies on the dollar, and Coppolella hates selling low even more than he loathes sitting still. After that awful showing in Philadelphia, Teheran’s ERA is 5.09. His FIP (fielding independent pitching) is ever worse. If this keeps up, the Braves will have gone from having a fairly cheap upper-part-of-the-rotation pitcher to having an overpriced No. 5 starter.

As noted last week, this would seem the wrong time to move Teheran. If the Braves can’t get his issues sorted over the next two months, they’ll face a difficult offseason decision. But this decision shouldn’t be made in haste.

Oh, and this much needs saying: With Swanson’s fizzle, the Braves will surely be that much more determined to hang on to Ozzie Albies, and they’re not trading Acuna for anybody. Nothing surprises me, but I’d be utterly shocked if they made a prospect-heavy-on-their-end trade. They’re not at a place where they need to do that yet.

Or so it would seem. Ahead of the trade deadline, nobody — borrowing again from the screenwriter William Goldman — knows anything. But we will know something by 4 p.m.

Dispatches from the Empire State (not the building):

Another Brave in the Hall of Fame: John Schuerholz, the architect.

John Schuerholz, Hall of Famer: He changed the Braves — and Atlanta.

Dansby Swanson after his demotion: “Wherever they put me.”

Trade talk:

Moving man: Jaime Garcia, former Brave, is now a former Twin.

The Braves will not trade Ronald Acuna for Sonny Gray, it says here.

Here’s why the Braves traded Jaime Garcia — asset acquisition.

Asking yet again: Should the Braves trade Julio Teheran?

Reader Comments 0

27 comments
Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

Yankees get Gray from A's for #4 prospect OF Dustin Fowler on DL with a ruptured patella tendon, #8  SS Jorge Mateo at AA, and #12  P James Kaprielian who has not pitched since undergoing Tommy John surgery on April 13. The Braves could have made a much better offer than this and still not touched any of their top prospects. At least Coppy could have offered Beane some healthy players. I guess Coppy is taking in the sights in Cooperstown rather than making any deals, his team just got swept by the team with the worst record in baseball.Just stand pat and wait for the next crop of prospects to come in 2019, maybe Albies or Acuna will be ready by then.

sea8491
sea8491

Already said my daily prayers for a new "real" owner, then our chances will improve.  Hope the freeze continues to be popular?

colt07
colt07

How do you think we got to lowly position, trades by Coppy. He had better start doing something. Our prospects are not doing so well. Olivera was supposed to be the foundation (quote from Hart) and Swanson the face of the franchise and finally Bethancort (sp) catcher for the future. I think they have two more years for major improvements or they will all be gone.


However, we don't have a real owner so as long as the Bravos are in the black, Liberty will keep us mired in mediocrity.

James B 2324
James B 2324

@colt07 Let's not forget "When Albies is ready he'll come up".  He's looked like a star in AAA never once called up.  Meanwhile Swanson looking like a A ball player in a MLB uniform starts over half the teams' games.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

Ball Game Phils 4 Braves 0 bottom third. Folty melts down in 3rd Inning 3 run homer by Herrera.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

Update Phillies 7 Braves 6, Phils complete 4 game sweep.

58Supersports
58Supersports

We need a closer but I don't expect Coppy to do anything....

James B 2324
James B 2324

@58Supersports We need a SS, 3B (Freddie is a 1B), 2B, LF, and to open RF for Acuna.  I don't hold hopes he's going to fill those spots either.

BetterDog
BetterDog

The best trade now is no trade.  Why trade away good prospects for a better pitcher.  The Braves will start winning again real soon.  This trade deadline crap has some players thinking too much.  Maybe later if the Braves can get a better pitcher without giving up two or three of our better young players.  With the lineup changing all the time the chemistry is in a state of constant change.  I would lock up Flowers and Suzuki for at least one more year or two.  The Braves offense is one of the best.  They are cold right now.  They will get hot again real soon.  They are too good an offensive team to go flat forever.  With Santana, Camargo, and Sean Rodriguez the Braves have three pretty good players who can be plugged in all over the field.  Leave the team alone for now.  Watch them win again.  Go Braves!

TomGaff
TomGaff

Bring up the 19 yr old kid, Acuna. let him play LF and let's see what happens? Rodriquez is a complete waste out there! Wasted $11.5M for 2 yrs on Rodriquez? Actually I, at 70 yoa, could probably do a better job in LF than him! 

E983
E983

What a mess. Bringing in prospects now isn't the answer. Sept. 1st is the practical time for that and that's only a month away. I wasn't looking for this to happen but chaos is part of this process too.

DAWGnGA
DAWGnGA

Like to see Acuna called up now.  Could he possibly do any worse than Rodriguez at this point?  I am sure he can at least make contact.  Let him get his feet wet.  His defense is there, just need to see what his bat can do.  I am sure HE  will not strike out 6 times in 2 games.  


I was hoping for a Markakis trade of some kind.  $11mil for an average defense player that hits 280 and no power or speed.  


Speaking of pitching, what as happen to ALL the pitchers this year on the Braves staff?  Not just Johnson?  They weren't great last year but the 7th and 8th innings were shut down innings.  Now it is hold your breathe time

TomGaff
TomGaff

@DAWGnGA Hey Dawg, I posted before reading yours. I guess brilliant minds think alike?

James B 2324
James B 2324

@DAWGnGA Don't understand their logic at all at moment.  Swanson looks like a little league player for the entire season yet he keeps starting, but Acuna & Albies tear up the minors yet never a sniff of them coming up.  


celepoheg
celepoheg

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Rhetoric
Rhetoric

The Braves will remain mired in mediocrity.

Hell Horsey
Hell Horsey

Don't expect much from the Barfs?  The AJC provides useful information, for once.

UnbiasedObserver
UnbiasedObserver

It doesn't matter.


As long as Ownership stays the same, the Braves will continue to flounder.  

JeffCriswell
JeffCriswell

One can speculate about a rotation of Folty, Soroka, Anderson, Wentz, Wright, but that's still a few years off. Not sure about Newcombe, although he's shown some promise. The position players still remain a big question mark. Camargo, Swanson, Albies, Acuna, Dustin Peterson, Austin Riley all might be in the mix.  Freeman and Inciarte are the only sure things we have at this point.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

Braves on the verge of being swept by the lowly Phillies ,so much for being in 2nd place , now tied for 3rd heading down to 4th in the NL East. In regard to Coppy standing pat or not, let's hope he does not try and make another big move. Adams would have some value to an AL contender as a LH batting DH with good power, Markakis has limited value ,and the Braves would likely be paying part or most of his 2018 salary to move him. Might as well keep Phillips, he is a bargain at the $1 million he is costing the Braves.And Coppy as far as Jim Johnson and his $ 4.5 million contract  in 2018 , find some trading partner and send cash and Johnson out of town, addition by subtraction, use your Jaime Garcia cash if you have to, but get Gas Can out of Atlanta before he blows another save.Call up all of the prospects you can after the minor league seasons are over, Acuna, Albies ,Sims, Gohara, and even Soroka give the Braves fans a preview of what may be coming in 2018.

TomGaff
TomGaff

@Buschleaguer Be careful about moving Matt Adams. He has a very friendly contract and big boppers at that salary are hard to find. Besides Freddie over at 3rd, has not made any error yet?

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@TomGaff @Buschleaguer Adams will likely not be traded this year, more likely in the off season,depending on what the Braves do during Free Agency before the 2018 season.