Who needs hitting this Summer… other than the Cardinals? It turns out that the trade winds may be more favorable than you would have thought for Matt Adams.
It is 6 weeks from the trading deadline, and the Atlanta Braves have big decisions to make. Who to trade and what to hold out for in return?
We are rapidly approach the end of ‘The Rebuild’. Now – and possibly this off-season – may be the last time there is any significant “selling” from a team that opted to ‘blow it all up’ after 2014.
There are certainly assets that can still be ‘sold’:
- Brandon Phillips is one – particularly given that he would come at virtually no cost and no risk.
- Starter Jaime Garcia is a virtual lock to go… somewhere.
- While certainly debatable, Julio Teheran could be on the block. Earlier struggles aside, he’s been solid in 4 of his last 5 starts dating to May 24. He’s also under cheap control through 2020, but the chances of him being moved are decidedly low.
- Then there’s bullpen assets: Jim Johnson, Jason Motte, Arodys Vizcaino, Jose Ramirez, Sam Freeman… most with ERAs under 3.
But the hitter on “Trade Watch” for sure is Matt Adams. He is on pace for a career year, including home runs and batting average.
Adams’ wRC+ score is 131 for the year – including his time with the Cardinals… who are probably grinding teeth at seeing what they allowed to get away when they need “a bat.”
That’s a point not lost on the St. Louis Post Dispatch, whose writer Rick Hummel went out of his way to conduct an interview with Adams, published over this past weekend.
So when Freddie Freeman returns to action – and he’s just started playing catch again – the Braves basically has 2 choices for Adams:
- Bench bat
- Outfielder… if somebody else is traded
But Adams hasn’t really played the outfield very much at all. Ever. And he’s got roughly the foot speed of Matt Kemp. So if Nick Markakis (for example) were traded, then poor Ender Inciarte would be forced to cover about 80% of the grass with Adams and Kemp as bookends. So that’s not a great idea.
A better idea? Give him the courtesy of a trade to a contender for the great job he’s done for Atlanta – and the Braves could reap the benefits.
So who will want Big City’s Big Bat in the next six weeks? Let’s find out.
Note: all stats and records cited are before Monday night’s action. No complete trades are proposed here, but potential trade targets are suggested. Your deals may vary.