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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

AJC: O’Brien: Expect B.J. Upton trade talks to be revisited

This is what I’m told about where it stands going forward: The Braves will try to trade Upton this offseason – personally, I think it’s just about a fait accompli that he’s gone before spring training – and that they might do it by including Minor in a package. In other words, they’d tell a team, you can have three years of contractual control of Minor before free agency, but you’re going to have to take B.J. Upton in the deal.
The Braves would surely have to take back a bad contract such as Jackson in such an exchange, but Atlanta would also probably ask that a decent prospect be included from the other team.

Also rumors about moving Evan Gattis to the AL for a “king’s ransom” this winter.

Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 26, 2014 at 06:22 PM | 32 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: bj upton, braves, cubs, edwin jackson, evan gattis, gigo, mike minor, unicorns, utterly hopeless brutally soul rending existential despair

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   1. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: August 26, 2014 at 07:09 PM (#4779612)
Everyone should be available, and there are a lot of good reasons to be wary of Gattis moving forward. He swings at pitches you just don't see Major League hitters swing at; there was a game last year against the Mets and Jon Niese where Gattis swung at a fastball that was so high and outside that most Little Leaguers would have laid off.

But aside from the appeal of his story, the fact is that it's just really hard to find a catcher who can contribute offensively in any real sense, and Gattis' power is a genuine weapon. Replacing Gattis with Christian Bethancourt is a staggering offensive downgrade.
   2. Jim Wisinski Posted: August 26, 2014 at 07:12 PM (#4779618)
there was a game last year against the Mets and Jon Niese where Gattis swung at a fastball that was so high and outside that most Little Leaguers would have laid off


Jeff Francoeur thinks that's right in his wheelhouse.
   3. Cargo Cultist Posted: August 26, 2014 at 07:39 PM (#4779629)
They might be better off just outright releasing him.
   4. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: August 26, 2014 at 07:50 PM (#4779633)
there was a game last year against the Mets and Jon Niese where Gattis swung at a fastball that was so high and outside that most Little Leaguers would have laid off


I watched a bit of the LLWS and most of those kids are pretty darn selective. Unfortunately the umps at times called ridiculously wide zones which forced many of the hitters to swing at balls outside the zone. Most of those teams had players plenty good enough to throw regular strikes AND move the ball inside and outside, no need to call a super wide zone.

Still don't know why most of the harder throwers in LL(65mph+) don't develop a nice change. They all throw curves and I saw a couple of Eephus pitches which was great. But a 50mph change has got to be effective if you're throwing 70+.
When I played LL back in the early 70's I was taught a circle change, though the difference between my 60mph "heater" and my 50mph change was not overly effective...
   5. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: August 26, 2014 at 07:56 PM (#4779634)
The Dodgers could use a player like Gattis.
   6. Cargo Cultist Posted: August 26, 2014 at 09:33 PM (#4779675)
But the Dodgers could not use a player like BJ Upton.
   7. Brian White Posted: August 26, 2014 at 09:53 PM (#4779692)
Everyone should be available, and there are a lot of good reasons to be wary of Gattis moving forward. He swings at pitches you just don't see Major League hitters swing at; there was a game last year against the Mets and Jon Niese where Gattis swung at a fastball that was so high and outside that most Little Leaguers would have laid off.

But aside from the appeal of his story, the fact is that it's just really hard to find a catcher who can contribute offensively in any real sense, and Gattis' power is a genuine weapon. Replacing Gattis with Christian Bethancourt is a staggering offensive downgrade.


At this point, Gattis pretty much is what he is. There's still some chance he improves in some areas - developmentally, he's really more like a 23-year-old. This was an important point to be made when he was coming up through the minors, since the "he's old for his level" complaints didn't really fit because of this. But his body is 27 years old, not terribly athletic, and injury prone, so physically its pretty much downhill from here.

That said, if you offered me the next four years of Gattis, versus the next six years of Christian Bethancourt, the obvious choice is Gattis. The difference in defensive ability isn't really that huge - Gattis is just fine behind the plate, despite the reputation he had coming up through the system. And Bethancourt can't hit, and that probably won't ever change.
   8. zonk Posted: August 26, 2014 at 11:13 PM (#4779722)
But the Dodgers could not use a player like BJ Upton.


Are you sure?

He's expensive, his current team hates him, he's a shell of his former self... Sounds like a future Dodger to me.
   9. The Duke Posted: August 27, 2014 at 07:26 AM (#4779785)
Kemp for Upton -- sounds perfect to me
   10. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 27, 2014 at 08:38 AM (#4779798)
Kemp for Upton -- sounds perfect to me


Don't the Dogs have to throw something in there to offset the number of years left on that Kemp contract?
   11. McCoy Posted: August 27, 2014 at 08:49 AM (#4779803)
Kate Upton sounds perfect to me.
   12. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 27, 2014 at 08:55 AM (#4779808)
Don't the Dogs have to throw something in there to offset the number of years left on that Kemp contract?

Interesting question. Is Kemp's D really as bad as the stats suggest (~ -25 in both main systems YTD)?
   13. MikeTorrez Posted: August 27, 2014 at 09:08 AM (#4779816)
Still don't know why most of the harder throwers in LL(65mph+) don't develop a nice change. They all throw curves and I saw a couple of Eephus pitches which was great. But a 50mph change has got to be effective if you're throwing 70+.


Probably because they're 12 years old. Changeups are likely a better alternative to a curve ball at that age, but changing speeds like that and creating the deception is difficult at any age. There are a lot of Major League pitchers whose changeups are mediocre at best.
   14. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 27, 2014 at 09:09 AM (#4779817)
Kemp look horrific the two games I saw him play the OF in Atlanta, so I'm guessing it's pretty close to as bad as the stats.

How about something like:

LAD gets BJ Upton, Evan Gattis
ATL gets Matt Kemp, Jacob Pederson, 30mil
   15. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 27, 2014 at 09:23 AM (#4779823)
Grrr. Joc, no Jacob.
   16. flournoy Posted: August 27, 2014 at 09:27 AM (#4779827)
I don't see any reason for the Braves to be in a hurry to trade Gattis and get Bethancourt into the lineup. Bethancourt will make a perfectly fine backup to Gattis next year, which is all he's ever going to be.
   17. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 27, 2014 at 09:47 AM (#4779837)
You move Gattis to improve the rest of the team.
   18. Joey B. "disrespects the A" Posted: August 27, 2014 at 10:22 AM (#4779855)
Kind of looks like the white flag of surrender thread to me. Time to grab my popcorn and enjoy!
   19. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 27, 2014 at 10:40 AM (#4779864)
And the bizarre stalking continues.
   20. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 27, 2014 at 10:45 AM (#4779867)
Envy is such a terrible thing.
   21. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 27, 2014 at 10:48 AM (#4779872)
He's expensive, his current team hates him, he's a shell of his former self... Sounds like a future Dodger to me.


Carlos Boozer just signed with LA. Was it actually with the Dodgers?
   22. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: August 27, 2014 at 02:20 PM (#4780093)
Love the tag!
   23. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: August 27, 2014 at 02:21 PM (#4780094)
There are a lot of Major League pitchers whose changeups are mediocre at best.


Possibly because they didn't start learning to throw it until they reached the minors, instead of in Little League.
   24. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: August 27, 2014 at 02:23 PM (#4780096)
And you don't really need to have great mechanics to deceive a 12-year-old. I don't think that many of them can recognize what pitch is coming from the way it's thrown, or necessarily adjust to it if they do recognize it.
   25. Jeff Frances the Mute Posted: August 27, 2014 at 03:25 PM (#4780163)
Kemp look horrific the two games I saw him play the OF in Atlanta, so I'm guessing it's pretty close to as bad as the stats.

How about something like:

LAD gets BJ Upton, Evan Gattis
ATL gets Matt Kemp, Joc Pederson, 30mil


Kemp is terrible in CF, but fine in the corners. It is a moot point though because the Dodgers are only interested in trading Ethier and/or Crawford.

   26. DA Baracus Posted: August 27, 2014 at 03:36 PM (#4780172)
You move Gattis to improve the rest of the team.


You'd have to get a hell of a player back to improve the team considering Bethancourt can't hit. This team is so frustrating sometimes.
   27. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 27, 2014 at 04:06 PM (#4780209)
Gattis is a very good piece, but at this point, with the bad contracts and the failure of Heyward to develop into a truly dominant hitter, you have to start asking questions about who is going to be around and helpful to the "next great Braves team." If they can get an A level prospect like Pederson or Sano for him, or maybe that 3B in AA for the Rangers, they'd have to do it. And you shouldn't just write off Gattis defensive issues behind the plate. He's a passed ball machine back there.
   28. Esoteric Posted: August 27, 2014 at 04:27 PM (#4780230)
That's a heck of a tag you used there, Sam.
   29. Colin Posted: August 27, 2014 at 04:58 PM (#4780259)
A passed ball machine? He's allowed four this year, half as many as Brian McCann in about the same number of innings. I think the team can survive one passed ball a month.

Still, Gattis hasn't yet established that he can be a starting catcher in the major leagues, nor that he can capably hit while playing the outfield. His offense has dropped off a lot in the second half this year, as it did last year, though in both years it's hard to read whether that's from catcher wear or injuries. It's easy to point out that Bethancourt can't hit, which is absolutely true, but it also seems likely that even with Gattis on the team Bethancourt would be doing about 40% of the catching duties, or more depending on injuries to Gattis. So, while Gattis definitely has value as a catcher, he's not going to prevent Bethancourt from getting a significant number of PA. At best he'd end up spending a fair bit of time in the outfield.

On the other hand, Gattis is one of the few Braves who can flat-out hit, and this team can't afford to give up offense easily, especially cheap offense. So they'd have to get a damned good player back, and I'm not convinced Wren et al can be counted on to identify such a player.
   30. Brian White Posted: August 27, 2014 at 10:04 PM (#4780497)
Gattis's defense is fine. He does allow a lot of wild pitches/passed balls - however they're scored, he's allowed 50 combined so far this year. That's a lot. But his pitch framing is by most accounts good, and his control of the running game is okay. There's really no reason to fret over his defense - just leave him behind the plate as long as he's healthy and enjoy the benefits of a catcher who can slug .500.

If the Braves want to trade him for prospects, that's a bit strange, since with Heyward and Upton approaching free agency and absolutely nobody to replace them, they should be in a win-now mode. This isn't the sort of team that should be engaged in a white flag trade.

If they want to trade him to get rid of a bad contract, well, that's even worse. If there's one thing Frank Wren is terrible at, it's spending cash to improve the team. I like Wren and all, since he's good at drafts, trades, and finding minor pieces to fit in around the stars. But if we're talking about trading a major piece of the current team so Wren can have more spending cash, well, that's just nuts.
   31. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: August 28, 2014 at 12:41 AM (#4780607)
The Braves have a pretty august recent history of good offensive catchers who were just sort of "blah" defensively. Javy Lopez played about 10 years for the Braves and didn't block the plate once, Johnny Estrada was pretty lazy in his two years and Brian McCann was always just kind of there, framing numbers notwithstanding. So long as Gattis can handle his business behind the plate, defense isn't a problem.
   32. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: August 28, 2014 at 12:54 AM (#4780612)
For all the ballyhoo about CB's arm,he's prone to errors and passed balls - more so than Gattis.

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