So Who Should the Braves Try to Get in August?

Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

August waiver trading is a tricky thing.

Unlike trading in July, you don’t have a pick of any player you want to pursue – instead you have to do these things:

  • Patiently await new names to be placed on the waiver wire
  • Decide whether a guy you might be interested in will be the only one you might have the chance for
  • Send the commissioner $20,000 for every player you do wish to go after
  • Wait to see if this expensive lottery ticket pays off
  • You could wait and see if a guy clears waivers – releasing him to be dealt to anyone – but that, too is a risk
  • Even if it does, then you still have to make a deal with the team holding that player

That last point is certainly important:  the Blue Jays apparently dangled Mark DeRosa, but snatched him back – which cost at least one team 20 grand for nothing.  But it happens… a lot.

So that is the lead-in to this question:  if the Braves want to get another bench bat, then who can/should they pursue?

Let’s examine the needs:

  • Spell the infielders – particularly Chris Johnson, Dan Uggla, and Freddie Freeman
  • Provide some ‘pop’ off the bench, particularly vs. RH pitching
  • ‘Veteran Presents’ (sic) would be nice, also
  • Likely to be truly available in August

Like it or not, I think there is exactly one name that fits the bill.

 

Michael Young

I’ll go ahead and say this right now:  TomahawkTake does not owe you a new keyboard for the reaction you just had to that last line.  That’s on you.

Here’s the case for Young:

  • Batting .276, OPS’ing .747, 8 homers
  • Batting .290 vs. RH pitching – as a RH batter
  • .321 in “high leverage” situations… whatever that really means.
  • Can play all infield positions… not great, but can do it.
  • Cheap

Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

What?  What do you mean ‘cheap’?  The Rangers already gave the Phils $10 million to take him.  That leaves $6 million on his contract, and that means roughly $2 million remaining for the year.

The reasons the Braves could/should get him on waivers:

  • No team ahead of them in the waiver-claim pecking order has the need that he can supply (possible exception:  Dodgers, depending on Hanley Ramirez‘ situation).
  • The Braves are ahead of Pittsburgh on that list… barely.
  • UPDATE/CORRECTION it’s actually even easier:  Young has already cleared waivers, according to this report.  So there’s nothing standing in the way of a routine phone call.
  • At this point, the Phillies shouldn’t care if Atlanta gets him (or anybody else, for that matter)… it saves them $2m and they’re likely to lose him at year’s end anyway.  It might take a minor leaguer in the range of #11-20 on the prospect list, but nothing more.
  • I literally don’t see any other options.  DeRosa was pulled back by Toronto.  Others of some value (Alex Rios, for example) either aren’t infielders, are crazy expensive, or will be picked up by other teams ahead of Atlanta.  Marco Scutaro is under contract through 2015.

Complications?

  • His no-trade clause.  Young himself has mentioned Boston and New York as possible destinations.  Not Atlanta… or anywhere else, for that matter.  But if Atlanta wants him, they would have ‘dibs’ over those clubs since the Phillies are in the National League.  Hey, we’ve got a Waffle House now.

If you have another candidate… make the case:  but it’s a whole ‘nother matter getting from “wanting” a player and “being able to get him.”  The Braves may certainly choose to pass on deals this August… but they may also risk a very tired infield come October.

Yeah, these comments oughta be interesting!

Topics: Atlanta Braves, Michael Young, Trade Option, Waiver Trade

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  • fireboss

    Well I sort of listed the one’s I thought might fit. Gregg Dobbs fits, as does Keppinger probably better as he plays all 4 infield spot if they eat some – say half – of that contract. Both hit about 280 in HL situations. Keppinger is a better fielder all around but Dobbs is a lefty. If the Mutts put Murphy on waivers and he got to us I’d claim him immediately. . .but he won’t. Other than that it’s a pretty thin group.
    I like Young but he wants to play every day and we can’t give hi that. I suspect his no trade would be used. Rios was claimed by the Rangers not that I care. Still hoping a GM has a grand plan they want to implement

    • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

      Dobbs isn’t hitting enough…less than 1 homer per 100 PAs and a .229 avg. overall. At least he’s an average fielder. Keppinger’s problem is that 3 year contract. No way the Braves want to have that around.

      You’re right: no way Murphy would fall as far as Atlanta via waivers. I bet the Mets want to keep him anyway. If they don’t, they’re stupid.

      Laynce Nix: outfielder, and hitting worse than Uggla… without the power.
      Lillibridge: seems he’s been released by half of the AL. Janish is actually _better_ right now.

      Reynolds: might actually be possible – likely closest to Young I see. He’s all-or-nothing at the bat, of course. Orioles want him, but he may not want _them_. Can’t play 2b base, though (but Janish can). Not hitting anybody right now: LH or RH pitching. Still a little surprised Cleveland dropped him.

      Yes, Young wants to play every day, but (a) that’s only happening in Philly; and (b) he has to decide whether a chance at a ring is worth it for 2 months… anywhere else.

      • Matthew Jones

        Only way that I can see the Braves getting Young would be to give up a pitcher we wouldn’t want to see for the next 4-5 years against us. I think you’re right, Carp. We might pick up one guy for the bench, but it’ll be a low-key move. Heck, we might even do a Julio Franco kind of move and get someone who’s raking in another league.

      • fireboss

        Keppinger isa better hitter than he’s been this year and more useful. The three year contract is an issue but I suspect he’s tradeable/ flipable for a useful piece if he doesn’t product. I’m not advocating anyone just pointing out the merits of each. Wren said backup infield and left handed bat so that was what I looked at . Like you I am not impressed with any of them. Reynolds is interesting and provides a genuine power left handed threat off the bench. he can also add air conditioning for the catcher and umpire on hot August nights :)

    • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

      Honestly, this list kinda makes the point: there just isn’t anybody out there worth pursuit. Young IS actually above replacement value, but he’s literally the only one I’m seeing.

      As for pitching: I had forgotten about Kyle Lohse – but even if I hadn’t, I would have predicted what happened: claimed on waivers; nothing offered that Milwaukee would even consider; player pulled back off the list. Looks to be a quiet August, despite the fact that there are now 15 teams _definitely_ out of the race (9 in the NL).

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