Atlanta Braves: The Pros and Cons of a Mike Trout Move
Why not to do it?
Seriously, there’s a chance to acquire the best player in the game without giving up the team’s dynamic young duo, either of the top two starters in the rotation, or the #1 prospect on the team, and there’s a negative to this?!
Well, yeah, of course. Every upside has a downside. We learned that in Spaceballs.
If the Atlanta Braves did acquire Mike Trout for this price, they would be giving up arguably the three most talented of the entire stable of arms that they have right now. Wright, Touki, and Ian are the three pitchers in the farm system with the chance to be a future “ace” tagged on them at this point, and arms like that don’t just come along every day.
Then you add in losing Riley, who has blossomed into one of the top power-hitting prospects in all of baseball and at least a competent third baseman.
The major league pieces, however, are the two that would sting the hardest. Ender Inciarte may have been the second or third piece of the deal that brought him to Atlanta, but he has established himself as an elite centerfield defender as well as a quality contact hitter. Those don’t just grow on trees, and as good as Acuna could be, he does not have the upside of Inciarte’s glove in center field. Trout likely will be the center fielder by deference in a deal like this until Cristian Pache, who does have the elite glove of Inciarte, is ready, but even then, he could take 2-3 years to establish himself at the major league level at the level that Inciarte already is at.
Newcomb was the big piece acquired for Andrelton Simmons, and for many Atlanta Braves fans, losing him would be the final nail in the coffin on that deal. Newcomb showed in May and June the type of elite starter he could be, making 11 starts in that time, with a 2.07 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, and a 26/56 BB/K over 65 1/3 innings. He’s struggled to close out the season, but those flashes at the major league level are nothing short of elite and from the left side, no less.
Finally, the last piece of negative vibe is that while having Trout on the Atlanta Braves would be great, he would be here for just the 2019 and 2020 seasons before hitting free agency. Most likely Trout would not be signing an extension for anything short of $40-45M per season, That kind of money until the current TV deal is expired would significantly handicap the finances of the franchise.
So, now that everyone’s depressed and actually NOT wanting Mike freakin’ Trout, let’s regain our senses and discuss why this would be a wise idea…