It's not very uplifting being a Braves or Red Sox fan right now.

What would a Braves/Red Sox trade look like?

The Defending Champs are Just as Problematic as the Braves…

if not WORSE. Boston is 5 games below .500  in the junior circuit.  While that is not promising,  it doesn’t seem likely that they’ll be in sell-mode due to the nature of their division (Like the NL East, no one is running away with it) and the addition of the 2nd Wild Card.  As bad as they’ve played, their only 7.5 back of the division and 5 back in the Wild Card.  Let’s take a look at their problems and decipher what they might need on the trade market.

Problem 1:  Their outfield is the worst in baseball

If you think the woes in the Braves camp are bad, you haven’t frequented any Red Sox blogs in the past month. Like the Braves, the Red Sox are a wholly holed team with certain needs.  With Shane Victorino on the shelf (he looks to be able to return at month’s end), the Sox have been desperately trying to fill holes in their offensively-depleted outfield.  Their first attempt to fill the “Flying Hawaiian’s” shoes was released last night in the form of Grady Sizemore.  Grady’s numbers are really no worse than the others that roam the outer-green, but they can’t just release EVERYONE!   They’d likely take a flyer on almost anyone.

Problem 2:  Their back-end starting pitching

For the most part, the Braves have had 7 guys that have been solid in the starting rotation, giving them the 2nd lowest ERA in the NL among starters. Boston is 10th in the junior circuit in starters’ ERA and currently plugging holes with smokescreens such as Rubby de la Rosa and Brandon Workman, neither of whom seem like long-term candidates to hold down a rotation spot.  Both Clay Bucholz and Jake Peavy have pitched poorly this year.

There are 2 ways the Braves could make a trade, one being very unlikely and the other being formidable. Let’s look at the unlikely trade first:

The Dreaded Bad Contract Swap:

Braves send B.J. Upton, 20 million dollars and Gavin Floyd to the Red Sox in exchange for Jake Peavy or Clay Buchholz.

Contracts- Jake Peavy is under contract through 2015 (has a player option that he’d simply be MAD to turn down) for 15 million and Clay Bucholz is under team control through 2015 at 7 million this year and 12million next year.  He then has 2 team options 13 million.

Why it could work- B.J. will be owed approximately 53 million through the rest of his contract. Sending 23 million cuts his contract down to 30 million for 3.5 years (essentially buying out 1.5 years of his contract). Gavin Floyd is an absolute bargain at 3-5 million for the rest of the year (depending which incentives are activated). Obviously, the Braves will be on the hook for Peavy’s or Bucholz’s entire contract.

The More-likely Scenario:

Braves send Gavin Floyd and Jordan Schafer to the Red Sox in exchange for Chris Capuano and Daniel Nava.

Why it could work-  The Sox have a serious surplus of LH relievers and Capuano seems likely to be the most expendable. As stated before, the Sox are likely to take a flier on almost anyone to fill the void in their OF . Schafer likely won’t be of impact, but he at least provides defensive value, of which Daniel Nava does not. The Sox are also awful defensively in the outfield therefore a late inning replacement in LF or RF might interest them. Ideally, Daniel Nave becomes the LH platoon for B.J. Upton, shifting Jason Heyward to CF. The Braves are obviously getting the better player in Nava, but are giving the better pitcher in Floyd.

What other trade matchups do you see that the Braves/Red Sox could pull off?


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Tags: B.J. Upton Braves Gavin Floyd Jordan Schafer

  • Mushy Peas

    This is just off the top of my head, and I’ve not considered any further details regarding how it would work, but Denard Span could be available. He’s owed 6.5 mil for 2014 and has a $9 mil option with $500,000 buyout for 2015. The Gnats are in a bit of a pickle with it’s outfield situation when Harper comes off the DL. Ryan Zimmerman is now in LF, Span CF, and Werth in RF. Zimmerman can no longer play 3B and they REALLY don’t want to get rid of him even though he’s probably the best DH candidate in mlb and they could potentially get a good return for him in a trade with an AL team. Unfortunately, they don’t need starting pitching, so unless it’s a three-way trade with someone else, it’s not opitmal for anyone. I just felt like Span would work well in CF as opposed to BJ. Then again, virtually anyone would be an improvement.

    • Ryan Cothran

      Not very likely that the Nats would want to help their biggest competition in the division. In fact, it’s about as likely as Aaron Harang getting us anything of value on the trade market after today’s debacle. Aye…

      • Mushy Peas

        Yeah, I that crossed my mind. I’m just kind of grasping at straws really.
        Harang has been such a pleasant surprise, but his relative success just doesn’t seem sustainable. I’d rather have Hale and Woody back in the rotation. I’m hoping Santana will rebound, but, the way he’s been pitching, he’d be my first to go if he wasn’t so expensive.

  • ericmvan

    De La Rosa and Workman have been so good (you might have bothered to check their numbers) that they’ve very likely bounced Doubront to the pen, and when Buchholz returns, it wouldn’t surprise me if they dealt Peavy in order to keep them both in the rotation. Which they can afford to do in terms of depth, BTW, beacuse Anthony Ranaudo and knuckleballer Steven Wright have been dominating in AAA (and Allen Webster has been solid). So the premise of this thought experiment is half-wrong.

    Meanwhile, Nava has rediscovered his 2013 stroke and is, right now, easily their best OF, so I’m not sure I see how trading him would be a solution to their OF problem.

    • Ryan Cothran

      I did check their numbers, both of them, Minor League and Major, and I didn’t think their success was sustainable. I like the Red Sox so I hope they prove me wrong. Rubby’s delivery and control inconsistency has always been his downfall. However, I did hear that he’s developed a pretty good change-up that he didn’t have with the Dodgers. Workman…I don’t know. He’s pitching well right now, but I don’t foresee him being anything more than a 5th starter. In my opinion, he has great stuff since moving his arm slot back up giving him a few extra MPH on the gun, but less control. As a flamethrower out of the ‘pen? Heck yes.

      • mjlowe

        Actually, barring the postseason, Workman’s been far better as a starter thus far in his career. And so what if he’s a back of the rotation guy in the future? You need those too.

    • Ryan Cothran

      I will admit that this was a poorly timed article as Boston’s starters have been hot. They’ve been known to be looking for starting pitching as last as 4 days ago.

  • Aaron Somers

    I’m a little confused at the insistence of pushing Gavin Floyd into each deal. Why would the Red Sox have any interest in him at all given their pitching depth? He wouldn’t likely be a better rotation option than Workman/De La Rosa and he’s certainly not a more appealing bullpen option than Capuano.

    Secondly, it’s worth noting that Sizemore was DFA’d yesterday. He wasn’t released last week. Semantics, sure, but it’s a detail that is still worth relaying accurately.

    • Ryan Cothran

      These pieces I’m writing are basically scrolling through teams, looking at need, and researching what each team is looking to acquire at the trade deadline. As late as 4 days ago, the Sox were looking for Starting pitching.

      And yes, the Sizemore thing was a pre-coffee typo. Fixed.

      • Aaron Somers

        That doesn’t explain why you insist on pushing Floyd – who wouldn’t even appeal to most teams – as part of these two deals. Furthermore, where did you read that Boston was looking for starting pitching?

        • Ryan Cothran

          Floyd and Harang are the expendable pieces in the Braves rotation as neither are under contract next year and both have pitched well-beyond expectations. I push Floyd the most because I think Harang, what, if any, real value he had, he has lost over the past 3 starts. Floyd, coming off TJ and pitching some of the best baseball of his life, with no real financial obligation, should be a hot commodity for a team in search of a rental. As for source, Jon Morosi on 6/16 and Bob Nightingale had them linked to Samardzija on 6/14.

          • fireboss

            Being in on a Ace Level pitcher like Samardzija does not mean they are in the market for a back of the rotation rental. Every contender except possibly the Cardinals, Dodgers and Nationals could use Samardzija but only fringe challengers like the increasingly injured and perpetually cheap Pirates might be interested in a guy like Floyd and as you noted Harang recently becoming what i expected in the first place makes him a candidate for DFA by the ASG.

          • Ryan Cothran

            I understand that, Fred. Thanks for keeping my common sense in check. Up until 4 days ago, the Red Sox were listed as “in the market for starting pitching” according to Morosi. It didn’t state their preference. If you will look, I listed 2 sources, one being Nightingale who linked them directly to Samardzija, and one being Morosi, who linked to to starting pitching.

            And yes, Harang, as I noted above in the comments, has likely lost most, if not all, of his trade value after Tuesday’s outing. It’s unfortunate for the Braves that they didn’t try to push him early to interested parties when Wood was in starter/reliever limbo.

          • Nate Dawg

            Harang has absolutely zero trade value. They’re not going to take our literal 6th starter when they can just go to the scrap heap themselves and hope for a couple good months. Brandon Workman, mentioned in passing in the article, is young, he strikes people out and he won’t walk anybody even if he only has his average stuff.

            No, we would have to dangle Wes Parsons alongside Schafer. Why? Because we’d be literally insane to even talk to Boston if Andrew Miller isn’t on the table, and he will cost us. Otherwise the same package would easily land Seth Smith and Andres Torres from SD. Smith murders righties, Torres shuts righties down. The only team who would take Upton no matter how much we pay would be Colorado. Drew Stubbs is an automatic .360 OBP vs lefties and we could even get Wheeler thrown in just in case Chris Johnson stays this wretched against righties.

  • mjlowe

    Let me tell you how daft this is on a number of levels from a Sox fan.

    After a WS victory it’d be sad to have to write off a year, but with the depth of their farm system, a lot of which is AAA at this point and poised to be major leaguers last year, the Sox could easily take this on the nose and call it a bridge year. They don’t need to make any desperate moves, and after the shot of adrenaline clearing the books of big contracts with that insane trade to the Dodgers and rebuilding the team with role players on the way to a championship last year, there’s no way they’re going to turn around and be on the receiving end of a dumping like BJ Upton.

    Sadly as much as I wish they would, they’re not going to pack it on Buchholz just yet (from the second he stepped on the mound I said he wouldn’t be able to stay on the field, sadly after the flashes of brilliance I was right, he’s pitched all of 1 complete season and never more than 180 innings. Lester by comparison, in just 1 more season has thrown twice as many innings), they’ll let him try to figure it out with the team on the line in the majors some more.

    Daniel Nava isn’t going anywhere either, he’s one of the biggest bargains in MLB, his season got off to a botched start by being made the odd man out by the stupid Sizemore experiment and Bradley’s delayed hitting development in the majors, but he’s an on base machine (amongst outfielders only Mike Trout had a higher OBP last season) and his hitting is back now, he’s .350 in June, and he costs them only $500k.

    And yeah, Workman and De La Rosa are more than just placeholders, look at how they’re doing, and these two aren’t at the very top of the starters on their way from the minors for the Red Sox.

    • Ryan Cothran

      Thanks for your opinion. Admittedly, the B.J. trade is far-fetched and wishful thinking on my behalf and doesn’t represent the views of Tomahawk Take. However…

      Clay Bucholz has been equally useless as B.J. Upton this year, and as you stated, there’s a starting pitching surplus in the Red Sox affiliates (not front-line, but guys that can fill a future back-end). I was merely speculating based on need. Whether you like or dislike the trade idea, it’s quite balanced from a financial perspective, especially if the Sox consider Bucholz dead weight at this point like some of their devoted fans do. Gavin Floyd would be a filler to those guys you mentioned and that’s all. If that’s not what the Sox were interested in, then so be it. The article from Morosi on 6/16 stated looking for “pitching”. There’s no need for them to be looking into a reliever, therefore I assumed he meant starting pitching. Right now, the Sox are getting quality SP from 5 candidates. Will that continue through the trade deadline? Maybe. Maybe not.

      • mjlowe

        No it probably won’t continue sadly, because Farrell is hellbent on putting Doubront and Buchholz back in the rotation. I’m not sure what they are looking for, I just know they won’t mortgage the future for this season. They might actually need a reliever though, if they don’t do the right thing and make Doubront a powerful long reliever because Chris Capuano seems to be on his way to being released now.