Atlanta Braves GM tells A-list members: A deal is close

TORONTO, ON - MAY 13: Josh Donaldson #20 of the Toronto Blue Jays hits a double in the first inning during MLB game action against the Boston Red Sox at Rogers Centre on May 13, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - MAY 13: Josh Donaldson #20 of the Toronto Blue Jays hits a double in the first inning during MLB game action against the Boston Red Sox at Rogers Centre on May 13, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
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The answer to the Atlanta Braves outfield and lineup needs might be Hunter Renfroe, seen here hitting a two-run home run in the fourth inning of the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on September 2, 2018, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

Hunter Renfroe

I started piecing together this idea about two weeks ago. Renfroe is your prototypical corner outfield bat. He hit 26 homers in 441 PA  last season playing most of his games in a division that featured some pretty good pitching from the Dodgers, Diamondbacks, and Rockies.

He had an awful start to 2018, but from June first on hit .249/.297/.810/.807 with a .338 wOBA and 117 wRC+, including 24 homers and 18 doubles. He dropped his K-rate from 29% to 24% last season, and while I grimace at that number, it’s acceptable in today’s game. His splits are almost even as well allowing him to play on an everyday basis.

Platoon Splits
Split PA AB HR BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
vs RHP 270 249 18 16 74 .245 .293 .510 .803
vs LHP 171 154 8 14 35 .253 .316 .494 .809

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table

Defensively, Renfroe has the arm for right field, and while UZR doesn’t rate him highly, he produced 5-DRS last season and Baseball Prospectus credited him with a 7.2 DRAA and 5.2 FRAA.

The Padres and Braves match up well; the Braves want a corner outfielder, and the Padres want a third baseman. They would undoubtedly ask for Austin Riley as the centerpiece of the deal. Offensively, they project as similar players as these scouting grades from their respective player pages indicate

Hit Game Power Raw Power Speed Field Throws Future Value
Renfroe 40 / 50 45 / 60 70 / 70 50 / 40 50 / 50 60 / 60 50
Riley 40 / 45 45 / 60 70 / 70 45 / 40 45 / 50 65 / 65 55

Both teams would want to add pieces to make it work.  I could see something like Riley and Teheran heading west for Renfroe, Yates and Hudson Potts.

That’s a wrap

It’s possible the Padres would want Camargo instead of Riley because they value his versatility and want to move Wil Myers with some cash to offset some of the cost of his contract.

I considered Aaron Hicks and Sonny Gray from the Yankees for Newcomb and another piece but discarded that as the fit isn’t as good for either team.

The possibility of a package including Brian Anderson and Realmuto would bring two needs to the Atlanta Braves, but it seems the Fish are shooting themselves in the foot (fins?) this offseason making such a deal harder to imagine.

Next. Let's talk about Knucksie!. dark

If the deal is 70% done and the Atlanta Braves notoriously secretive GM, an executive who tells no one anything, spoke about it in public, he’s pretty sure it’s going to happen. All we can do it hope it’s enough to push past the Mets, Nationals, and Phillies.