Ken Rosenthal tries to put a spin on why the Braves didn’t get Chris Sale and probably won’t get Chris Archer this Fall… a message that isn’t sitting well with fans.
This isn’t the first time that a nationally known voice has raised the ire of Braves’ Country – Jim Callis, the prospect watcher at MLB.com thinks that Atlanta Braves fans hate him… and that is probably true.
After this Summer’s trade deadline, Callis loudly and proudly proclaimed the Yankees with the best farm system in baseball, and other comments suggest a lot of Red Sox love, too:
(Context on that first tweet was the Yankees)
So now Ken Rosenthal is trying to explain why the Braves didn’t win the Chris Sale sweepstakes… and why they aren’t likely to get Chris Archer either. It’s also about the farm system. Here’s his opening salvo:
"The Braves are in a tricky spot. They appear eager to take a step forward in their first season at SunTrust Park. But their farm system was not quite mature enough for them to acquire Sale, and might not be mature enough for them to get, say, the Rays’ Chris Archer."
Let’s start with the obvious point to be made here: the Braves didn’t get Chris Sale because Dansby Swanson wasn’t in the offer.
You could also proceed to argue that the Nationals didn’t get Sale because Trea Turner wasn’t included in their offer. But does that mean their farm system wasn’t ‘mature’ enough to get the deal? No. One has nothing to do with the other.
Heck, everyone was suggesting weeks earlier that the Braves were one of the few teams with enough to offer the White Sox for Sale. So suddenly in hindsight the farm system isn’t up to the task? What?
The Red Sox threw in Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech, which trumped everyone. The White Sox knew that Dombrowski was sitting on the sidelines, waiting for the other top bids to come in, and then Rick Hahn simply him “Here’s what’s on the table” – and Dombrowski beat it.
Could the Braves have beaten the Boston offer? Absolutely. They didn’t choose to.
Could the Nationals have done so? Maybe…though clearly they had other aspirations as well and needed to retain some trading power… at least until they got Adam Eaton.
But the Rosenthal comment speaks of “maturity”, which is frankly a bizarre word to use for prospects… and by the way: Michael Kopech is 20 years old, Yoan Moncada is 21.
Kopech hasn’t thrown less than 160 professional innings at all levels (none above High-A) and Moncada had just 61 games in High-A, 45 in AA before an 8 game call-up in September.
If your argument is about the ‘maturity’ of a farm system, then you’ve lost the argument, Ken: there is talent with those players – no doubt; but ‘maturity’ is definitely wrong word here.