My Take: the Evan Gattis Trade

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Aug 6, 2014; Mike Foltynewicz (48) pitches during the seventh inning against the Philadelphia Phillies. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Changes – and the Return

There are several folks I have heard from that do not like the deal  Let me explain why it could be very good – and at worst is probably at least “okay.”

  • Gattis himself.  He will be 28-1/2 in February.  That’s older than Justin Upton.  Yes, he’s caught few games overall and there’s a lot less baseball-related wear-and-tear on his legs.  But how were the Braves going to use him?  By exposing his defensively liabilities in Left Field?  Or wearing him down behind the plate?  The Braves were already holding their breath – while holding Texas on the phone – during that review of his physical yesterday.  Don’t think for a second that they didn’t believe this might be their last, best shot to exchange the Bear for a substantial reward.
  • Mike Foltynewicz.  In my opinion, the success of this deal depends largely on whether he becomes the starter pitcher some projected him to be.  If he ends up in the bullpen, he’ll be good, but a substantial part of the reason he is touted as a top prospect is because of that status as a starter.  If Mike can (a) stay healthy; and (b) achieve a bit better control of that flamethrown fastball, then we’re looking at Julio Teheran – with even more giddy-up.
  • Rio Ruiz.  So Hart/Coppy knew exactly what they were doing when Kyle Kubitza was sent out west.  Whatever concerns we had with KK eventually taking over third base are now a memory.  This kid looks to be the third base prospect we all would like to have.  He hits, he gets on base, he will hit with power, and he’s going to be roughly an average defender as well.  Oh, and he’s still just 20-1/2.
  • Andrew Thurman.  Honestly, I think the teams could have left off Thurman and James Hoyt (who went to the Astros in this deal) and called it a day.  But maybe one of our scouts likes Thurman – maybe one of theirs likes Hoyt.  Whatever.  Not a big deal either way, though Thurman was ranked on their prospects board… and Hoyt had been pushed off of ours.

I hope to have more on Folty and Ruiz later, but when you have the chance to grab two top players from the Astros’ system – one that’s been drafting early and often for multiple years), then you should take advantage.