Insider hints at ludicrous proposal to trade two vital parts of Braves offense

Trading two of your best players for more "quality starting pitching" is the equivalent of trading your Porsche for a Toyota Camry and paying the other person $50,000.
Atlanta Braves v Miami Marlins
Atlanta Braves v Miami Marlins / Megan Briggs/GettyImages
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Trading Ozzie Albies is a bad idea...


Over the last six years, the Atlanta Braves have developed a reputation for locking up players to incredibly team-friendly long-term contracts. Michael Harris II and Ozzie Albies might have the most team-friendly contracts in all professional sports.

Trading any of the players the Braves have signed long-term so early into their contracts would ruin any potential of the Braves signing future players to these types of deals. The Braves front office is able to sign star players to extensions because they've forged trust with the players.

Trading any of them on a whim because the team needs a hypothetical "high-quality starter" who would be worth trading them for would be tactically insane.

Ozzie Albies would have become a free agent after the 2023 season had he not signed his seven-year, $35 million contract in 2019 that also includes two team options for $7 million. Instead of making upwards of $20 million per season, the longest-tenured Atlanta Brave will only make $28 million total over the next four seasons.

Despite his contract and his role as a team leader, the Braves could theoretically make a trade if the price is right and replace him at second base with Vaughn Grissom, who is projected to put up a 1.0 fWAR in 2024.

According to FanGraphs, Ozzie Albies ranks 31st in baseball for Trade Value. There are only six pitchers who are signed for a longer duration than Albies. Two have recently gotten Tommy John surgery (Shane McClanahan and Sandy Alcantara) and one is his own teammate (Spencer Strider).

This leaves just three pitchers in all of baseball where trading Albies might make sense. George Kirby, Eury Perez, and Logan Webb are the only pitchers in baseball with a higher trade value than Albies. Each pitcher would require the Braves to not only replace Albies at second but also add prospects to the deal.

Perez has only 91.1 MLB innings under his belt, which wouldn't be the established quality starter Jeff Schultz craves.

Webb is a Cy Young finalist this year and has been the anchor for the Giants rotation since 2021 but he just inked a long-term deal with the Giants earlier this year. Even if the Giants were willing to trade him (from a very weak rotation, mind you), the Braves would pay Webb significantly more than they would pay Albies and would need to replace Albies' 4+ WAR production at second base.

Kirby has been excellent in his two seasons with the Mariners, but, like Perez, isn't likely what Schultz has in mind when it comes to high-quality starting, especially when he's willing to put so much stock in Michael Harris's production in the playoffs.

Are these three high-quality starters? Absolutely. Could the Braves acquire them using Albies? Absolutely. Would it be worth trading a team leader on an incredibly team-friendly deal and replacing him with someone who would be half as valuable at second?

No. But somehow, this isn't the most insane suggestion Schultz made.