Sorry, B.J. I just can't take the attitude anymore.

A few Trade Ideas for the Braves

More than anything, this is how I’ll remember B.J.’s time with the Braves


Last night’s game really chapped my hindquarters as I’m sure it did to most of you, as well.  The easy part about being a Braves’ fan has always been that the players on the field were easy to root for because they carried themselves with dignity and class while playing the game.  It may be my old school mentality but I’m really sick of seeing the bat  fly, helmet slam and hearing the blatant F-bombs that fly from the mouths of players after an unproductive out.  However, the biggest issue for me came from B.J. Upton the other night when the microphone picked up his accusation  after being called out on a strike that was very much a strike; “That’s not a strike on Trout”.  If it wasn’t a strike on Trout, it sure as heck should have been.

Get to the point, man…

Regardless of my personal feelings towards B.J. or any other player that lacks professionalism from time to time, the Braves need not explore trade options that don’t fix what doesn’t need fixing.  There have been early rumors that the Braves are interested in acquiring Jeff Samardzija from the Chicago Cubs, which would insinuate that the Braves need starting pitching help.  On the contrary, the Braves are 2nd in the National League, trailing only the St. Louis Cardinals in ERA among their starters (3.20).  Not only do the Braves not need a starter, but they actually have 2 extra that, if necessary, could be ready by week’s end.  The time to trade one of Aaron Harang, Gavin Floyd, or even Ervin Santana will come soon coinciding a move for Alex Wood back to the rotation.  A rotation of Teheran, Minor, Wood, and 2 of the 3 listed above will be quite sufficient to take us to the playoffs.  There is, however, need to improve the offense.  Which is where these series of wild and crazy trades come from.  Bare with me…

Both Gavin Floyd and Aaron Harang have pitched brilliantly in a Braves uniform and are the definition of selling high.  While it’s likely the Braves will be trading one of these 2 guys, I think it’d be wise to look at trading both.  Neither will be pitching in a Braves uniform next year and the Braves could really use them to grab some useful parts to plug other holes on the current team and in the Minors. Trading these 2 in separate deals for a Utility Infielder under team control, a LOOGY under team control, and some Minor League prospects would be maximizing their value.

The Trades

Here is my first idea:  The Oakland Athletics are expected to have Josh Reddick back in about a week, therefore Craig Gentry becomes the 4th/5th OF in a crowded outfield. They’re also in need of a starting pitcher. Gavin Floyd for Craig Gentry and Daniel Robertson-  Craig Gentry is a 4th OF who is capable of being a starting CF for many teams.   In my opinion, he is like Martin Prado in terms of underrated ability due to average Minor League numbers that have translated to better, or equal, Major League numbers.  He has performed essentially equal to he Minor League numbers, and although his overall numbers leave much to be desired this year, he gets on base and runs quite successfully. Daniel Robertson is a budding shortstop prospect in their organization who scouts say doesn’t have the range for shortstop and will be used as a 3rd baseman.  Here are a few other names that might do in a trade with Oakland: Chad Pinder, Billy Burns (should get him just for the name as he stole 74 bases last year, only caught 7 times).

Here goes my 2nd idea: Trade Aaron Harang for Brian Matusz.  Matusz was groomed to be a starter in the minors, but his inability to keep right-handed batters at bay has turned him into a reliever.  As a LOOGY, Matusz has been very successful as left-handers have a .616 career OPS against. Matusz is under team-control for 2 more years, and while he’ll become an expensive LOOGY, the Braves can rest assured that he’ll be trustworthy in his role.

This leads up to the grand finale, the dreaded bad contract swap.  I’m not even going to build it up anymore…

Trade B.J. Upton, Jordan Schafer, David Hale and Dan Uggla, plus 25 million dollars over the course of the next 4 years to the Chicago Cubs for Edwin Jackson, Emilio Bonifacio and Nate Schierholtz.  This is essentially trading off 5 players of which have underperformed for their current teams and could use a change of scenery.  Edwin Jackson’s peripherals suggest he’d be just fine with a good defense behind him. In this scenario, the Braves will use a platoon throughout the rest of the year where Craig Gentry starts in CF against LHP and Schierholtz starts in RF against LHP with Heyward jumping between CF and RF.  The Braves can then re-explore the market for a CF that’s capable of putting the ball in play regularly or, if Gentry succeeds in his role, employ him to be that CF.

Recap the Madness

Braves get Edwin Jackson, Nate Schierholtz, Brian Matusz, Emilio Bonifacio, and a prospect.

Braves give: 25 million, B.J. Upton, Dan Uggla, Jordan Schafer, David Hale, Aaron Harang, Gavin Floyd

New 25-man roster- Lineup: 1. Heyward 2. La Stella  3.  J. Upton 4. Freeman  5. Gattis  6. C. Johnson  7. Schierholtz/Gentry 8. Simmons

Rotation- 1. Teheran 2. Minor  3. Wood  4. Santana  5. E. Jackson

Bullpen- 1. Kimbrel 2. Walden  3. Simmons  4. Avilan  5. Matusz  6. Varvaro  7. Carpenter

Bench- 1. Laird 2. Doumit 3. Bonifacio  4. Schierholtz/Gentry  5. Pena


Do I think these will all happen? Heck no, but at least they’re plausible.

Go Braves!


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Tags: Aaron Harang B.J. Upton Braves Dan Uggla David Hale Gavin Floyd Jordan Schafer

  • Lee Trocinski

    Your A’s trade is way too Braves-friendly. The A’s may want another starter, but they’re not going to give up Reddick’s platoon partner and only backup CF plus a decent hitting prospect. Gentry alone would be a stretch. The O’s trade is very plausible, though I’m not sure if they’d give up Matusz when they have Gausman and Norris already in the 5-6 spots.

    The Cubs trade doesn’t add up. Uggla has $20M left, so your $25M payment is basically the fee to have the Cubs take him. BJ has about $54M left, which is almost entirely dead money. Jackson has about $28M left, which is not all dead money. Is Schafer and Hale worth $35M? Not even close, so maybe if you make that payment $50M, you’re in the ballpark.

    • Ryan Cothran

      According to Cot’s, Edwin’s signing bonus is spread throughout the contract which puts him more in the the 33 million dollar range. Add Schierholtz’s contract too and the Cubs are giving up 36 million dollars of dead weight and taking on 71 million. 71-36= 35 million-25 million dollars sent to the Cubs = 10 million. The Cubs are essentially paying 10 million dollars more than their current contracts and will get Uggla for 1.5, BJ for 3.5, Schafer for 2.5, and Hale for 4.5.

      Edwin Jackson is just as much dead weight to the Cubs as B.J. is to us.

      • Lee Trocinski

        I’m pretty sure the original team is always on the hook for signing bonuses, no matter when they get rid of a player. New teams only have to pay base salary. Also, I think Edwin would have some value, about a 1-WAR pitcher with the stuff to go to bullpen if necessary. That leaves his dead money at $15-20M, nowhere near BJ’s “unworth.”

        I did space out on Schierholtz, so that does cut down the deficit a bit. I still see about $25M in value left for Hale and Schafer to fill, and even with their service time left, I don’t see it.

        • Ryan Cothran

          25 million for Hale and Schafer would be the FA equivalent of 4-5 WAR over the course of their time spent with the organization + their respective salaries. So, let’s just say for sh*ts and giggles that the Cubs paid the 2 of them 14 million total for their 7 years of service. That would mean that the Cubs would have to get 6-7 WAR out of them total over that period of time.

          They’re essentially getting 12 years of maximum controlled years for 13 million more than what they were going to pay for 3.5 years. It’s a 13 million dollar gamble for them, but could be a heck of a payoff should one of the aforementioned put it together for them.

          It’s a gamble for both squads and both squads will essentially lose players they don’t want in return for something another club doesn’t want. Truth be told, this is one of those trade ideas that would never happen because neither club thinks they’re getting fair value.

          • Sealift67

            Schafer is essentially a decent AAAA player who can catch a ball and
            steal some bases. Hale who has under-performed moving from
            AAA to starter to pen rates currently as a #5 starter and while
            he has an intriguing sinker other teams are not going to get excited
            about him at this time. Uggla and BJ ‘sellable’, don’t think so.
            I’m not one to rosterbate yet this proposal deserves a comment.

          • Ryan Cothran

            Vernon Wells has been sellable…twice. Everyone has a price.

    • Ryan Cothran

      I agree that the A’s trade is Braves’ friendly. In fact, if we trade one or both of Harang and Floyd, I think the trade will look very much Braves’ friendly. These are 2 veterans who cost next to nothing and are pitching sub-3 ERA baseball. The return, in my opinion, will have to be an overpay as so many teams will be in the bidding.

  • Chris Headrick

    I guess the only issue I have is the notion that the Braves don’t need fixes to pitching. They really haven’t so far, but we’re starting to see the pitching slowly erode, and going down the stretch I think it will erode even more. You are patently correct that there are offensive issues that need correcting, but I just have little confidence in Atlanta pitching as it is right now.

  • Ronnie

    The trade with the Cubs would be good enough for me. I have been ranting for 2 yrs for Bonafacio to be a Brave. He could be the Braves new lead off man. Anything else the Braves get for dumping Uggla and/or B.J. would be wonderful. I like Schierholz as well.