Atlanta Braves Veteran Trades…A Coppy Speciality

Aug 12, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Jim Johnson (53) is congratulated by catcher Anthony Recker (20) after earning a save against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Aug 12, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Jim Johnson (53) is congratulated by catcher Anthony Recker (20) after earning a save against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Who do you love?  Or better, who can you latch onto and be a fan of in baseball for any extended period of time.  That’s a good question in this modern era of player movement.

Over the last few years, our Atlanta Braves have been a team in-flux. Both Major League and Minor League levels have seen huge overhauls. With so many moving parts in such a short amount of time, many fans have been leery to declare a favorite for the sheer fact that any given player might be traded should the right deal pop.

As it has played out, the players that have been in the biggest danger of having to move cities mid-year (or off-season) have been the 1-year veterans, or players that have only 1-year of contractual control left.  These types of trades have happened so frequently that’s it’s quite surprising when one of these guys stays with the team for the entire year (*see 2016 version of Jim Johnson).

It was a lot of painstaking work that I’ll likely bear no fruit for, but I’ve taken the time to run through the transactions page to find every single trade that involved a player with 1 year of control. Let’s take a look, see who’s still producing fruits on the farm, and lastly, look at who could be the 2017 victims.

May 19, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves right fielder Jason Heyward (22) scores a run against the Milwaukee Brewers in the first inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

May 19, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves right fielder Jason Heyward (22) scores a run against the Milwaukee Brewers in the first inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

2014 Atlanta Braves 1-year Veteran Trades

Players acquired in  2014 Atlanta Braves 1-year Veteran Trades:

2015 Atlanta Braves 1-year Veteran Trades

Players acquired in 2015 Atlanta Braves 1-year Veteran Trades

2016 Atlanta Braves 1-year Veteran Trades

Players acquired in 2016 Atlanta Braves 1-year Veteran Trades

Sep 27, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves right fielder Nick Markakis (22) watches as Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard (not pictured) hits a grand slam in the first inning of their game at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 27, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves right fielder Nick Markakis (22) watches as Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard (not pictured) hits a grand slam in the first inning of their game at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Who’s in danger to be traded for the 2017 Atlanta Braves?

The most obvious choices are the 3 veteran Starting Pitchers the Braves signed/acquired this offseason: R.A. Dickey, Bartolo Colon, Jaime Garcia. However, they are not the only ones.

In a roundabout way, Alan discussed this in a piece a few days back.  With the new CBA agreement,  teams that aren’t contending really have no reason to hang on to veterans whose tenure ends after game 162 as the reward for accepting a qualifying offer is significantly lower than what the team could get on the trade market.

I’ll take this a step further. With the 2018 free agent market being absolutely flooded with talent and some teams not in buying mode due to the luxury tax, even trading guys that are free agents after the 2018 season would also be wise for non-contenders that plan to contend in 2018, especially if the Braves were to consider shopping them in the upcoming off-season.

Here’s a full list of Braves’ players that will be a free agent either at the end of the 2017 or 2018 seasons:

Of the aforementioned 10 players, I could see Collmenter being the first dealt in a trade right before spring training ends to a team in desperate need of a 5th starter.

From there, Colon, Garcia, and Suzuki will likely be traded should Braves look to be a below .500 team by June with no-holds barred on any of the other players should the Braves get good offer. However, let it be known that I think this Braves team can compete especially if they add a few more bench/platoon pieces.

Just some nuggets to hold you guys and gals over for another week! Let’s hope that the trading is few and far between and the competing is on us in 2017 for I’d love us to be the buyers!

Let’s say it together! 1, 2, 3…

Go BRAVES!

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