Atlanta Braves mailbag looks at breakout candidates and a Kris Bryant trade

The Atlanta Braves won’t trade for Francisco Lindor this off-season. (Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images)
The Atlanta Braves won’t trade for Francisco Lindor this off-season. (Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images) /
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atlanta braves
The Atlanta Braves won’t trade for Francisco Lindor this offseason. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images /

The first week of the Atlanta Braves mailbag here at the Take includes a look at trades for big-name players, breakout candidates, and more.

In this first installment of our Tomahawk Take mailbag, fans want to know how Atlanta Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos will address the remaining roster spots, who’s potentially on the radar, and who might get moved if a trade is part of the answer.

Our first question comes from Adam DeBusk (@adamdebusk23), who asks about a possible trade for either Francisco Lindor or Kris Bryant.

I doubt either Francisco Lindor or Kris Bryant will end up with the Atlanta Braves for a couple of reasons. In the case of Lindor, the Braves don’t see shortstop as an area they need to improve.

The Indians would ask for Swanson and at least two other Major League, or near Major League-ready players in return. The Braves would assume a contract  MLBTR projects at $16.7M, a net increase in team payroll of $13.4M.

The Braves would control Lindor for two seasons – his second contract would approach $24M – before he dives headfirst into free-agency, leaving the Atlanta Braves with a comp-pick in the 2022 draft. Braden Shoemake may be ready by then, but if he’s not, they’d be looking for a replacement. Those things make such a deal unlikely.

Swanson isn’t in Lindor’s zip code as a shortstop yet, but he isn’t chopped liver either. Over the first 100 games in 2019, Swanson hit pretty well from the eighth spot in the order. His numbers compare well to those of a player many wanted to the Braves to sign; Jonathan Villar.

Swanson 431 21 3 17 .265 .330 .468 .798 110* .334
Villar 714 33 5 24 .274 .339 .453 .792 109 .335

*OPS+ calculated against a full season

Had Swanson finished the year at that level, he’d have finished fifth in the NL and 14th in MLB for wRC+ among qualified shortstops, with something like 2.9 WAR

Considering how highly the Atlanta Braves value Swanson’s leadership on and off the field, giving up $13.4M for two years of control seems unrealistic, even for a player who many consider the best all-around shortstop in the game.

I put the odds of the Atlanta Braves acquiring Lindor at <1%, only because nothing is impossible.