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 utility man Johan Camargo might well be included in a trade for the right piece. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

Messing with the Johan?

Blake wants to know if the Atlanta Braves would include Camargo in a trade package for a starter even though third base is still in limbo.

Yes, they would. Top of the rotation pitchers are hard to find. If Camargo is the final piece needed to acquire Matthew Boyd, Jon Gray, or another high-quality arm, they’d include him, That point seems moot now. However, the Hamels doesn’t eliminate a potential Camargo trade.

If the Braves find a deal for a third baseman (Dozier, for example) and Camargo is part of the ask, the Braves would include him there as well and find another utility player the next morning.

My view

I expect the Braves to trade or pick up one of the recently non-tendered players to make any new additions. Anthopoulos is spending money like a man with a big budget, but he isn’t Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos.

Their current committed payroll appears to be at $136M, with a top between $145M and $150M. Adding Donaldson at a friendly $23M, the Braves sit at $159M, and I don’t believe they’ll sign an old warhorse like Todd Frazier.

The most logical trade piece is Ender Inciarte since he’s the only player making enough money to have a big effect on the payroll. A trade of Inciarte to Arizona for Escobar (for example) is payroll neutral.

Adding a controllable pitcher (Sean Newcomb, for example) could bring back Robbie Ray as well. That would complete the rotation and bring payroll to $147M, and replacing Inciarte in center field with someone like Kevin Pillar might add another $5M.  They still look short of an outfield bat, so making a deal for someone like Mitch Haniger might work as well.

How it all shakes out depends to a large extent on what the rest of the league does this season. I believe Anthopoulos will try to finish the roster before the season starts without making any drastic moves.

The GM said many times that a team could find missing pieces at the deadline, and he’s done that over the last two years. If Anthopoulos sees the market becoming irrational, he’ll make the best move he can and go hunting for the rest in July.

That’s a wrap

The Winter Meeting might produce more news of interest to Atlanta Braves fans than the expected selection of Dale Murphy for the Hall of Fame by the Modern Era Committee.

Signing Hamels is another sign that the Atlanta Braves aren’t waiting for the market. Anthopoulos saw the pitcher he needed and signed him. There’s no indication that they need to wait on a third baseman from the free-agent market now. We could see the third base job filled before Ronald Acuna Jr. and I celebrate our birthdays in December.

I’ll provide a mailbag post as often as required to answer the questions I receive, If you have a question or would like to see something discussed, let me know in comments or send me a Tweet.

I try to read all of the comments, but with the new comment system, I do miss some.

Next. Could be a Hech of a plan. dark

If news breaks (as it did today forcing a rewrite of this post) during the meetings, we’ll give you immediate reaction here on the Take – and in our podcast, if they ever get the dang thing posted.