Let the games begin…
Like all teams before the real meetings, the Atlanta Braves portion of the winter meetings simulation started early. Though it began slowly negotiations got pretty involved as the days moved forward. It’s been an interesting experience so far and one that’s given me more than one headache.
All of the GM’s with whom I’ve had discussions are working hard to get a good result. I’m sensing a competitive streak among this group; what a surprise. Without further babbling here’s what’s happened so far.
Atlanta Braves Simulated trade – Nick Markakis to the Orioles
I contacted the Orioles’ front office first and offered Nick Markakis. They expressed interest and we agreed that the Braves would receive Georgia native Matt Grimes in return.
The 6′ 5″ 185 pound righty who calls Hoschton, Georgia home caught the eye of the White Sox in 2010. They selected him in the fourth round off the draft but he turned them down in favor of Georgia Tech.
A solid freshman year saw him eager for the next season, but made only five starts his sophomore year before shutting it down due to elbow discomfort.
In the fall he returned to the team but after three outings Dr Andrews replaced his UCL and he missed the 2013 season. Even though injured at the time, the Phillies selected Grimes in the 31st round of the 2013 draft, but he returned to Tech instead.
The Orioles finally convinced Matt to sign after selecting him in the 18th round of the 2014 draft. He moved through low A and A ball in 2015 and began 2016 in A+ ball with Delmarva earning Carolina League pitcher of the week honors in June.
He moved to AA in July of that season and started the 2017 season there but struggled and the Orioles demoted him to A+ in August. Grimes features a two seam fastball at 89-90, a four seam at 91-92 topping at 94, mixes in a mid 70mph, 12-6 curve and an occasional 82-84 MPH slider.
His motion reminds me of Kevin Brown (not a comp) ; compact, simple and repeatable. He looks like a candidate for a bullpen spot so that’s the plan for next year. He is not on the 40 man roster.