As is often the case, Atlanta Braves’ trades can say a lot about business aspects not even directly related to the trade itself.
Yes: Mallex was blocked – for at least 2 years, and possibly more, depending on what else the Braves have in mind for their future outfield. Yet he’s still more of the wild card in this deal – the very promising, yet still unproven component here.
Yes: Shae Simmons will be missed. I envisioned him being the Braves’ “fireman” this season – that go-to guy out of the bullpen when the fire is roaring with an opponent’s threat in a late inning that needs to be snuffed.
Perhaps someone can replace him in that role (A.J. Minter?) – time will tell.
But after mulling this deal overnight, it’s fair to evaluate the other aspects that are going on here. I can think of three right away.
1. Two roster spots have been opened
Jeff mentioned this in his look at the trade, but it bears repeating. We know that the Braves have been looking at a lot of infielders. We know that a fourth outfielder needs to be added.
At this point, the ‘buzz’ about a catching upgrade seems to have died down, but that’s still something that might need to be dealt with.
On top of all of that, there’s still – quite possibly – the pursuit of a front-line pitcher. More on that later.
But all of these efforts would require extra roster space to be available. In one deal, Coppy opened up 2 spaces and didn’t have to DFA anyone. That’s a win. It’s a win for flexibility and for getting value back in return.
Now Atlanta is free to go after a Francoeur or a Johnson or … whoever. And… More on that on the next point.