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 Michael Harris II would be insanity

The more egregious trade "candidate" Jeff Schultz mentioned is Michael Harris II. Again, Schultz "leaned" towards not trading Harris, but he also mentioned that Harris's hitting is a question mark, which is objectively false.

Harris isn't Aaron Judge at the plate, but he's also not Michael A. Taylor or Victor Robles. In fact, Harris has the fifth-highest wRC+ among CF since 2022. He also has the fifth-highest fWAR, despite not even debuting until the end of May 2022.

Thanks to his production (which includes his excellent hitting, Jeff) and his contract there are no healthy pitchers (McClanahan had a higher trade value in July but is out for the 2024 season) with a higher trade value than Harris who isn't on the Braves (Spencer Strider, again).

I repeat, there is not a single pitcher who has more value than Michael Harris currently has.

Thanks to the eight-year, $72 million contract that has team options for 2031 and 2032, the young CF signed during the 2022 season will max out at $20 million in a season if his final team option is picked up.

Starling Marte, who was worth -0.3 fWAR this season and made $20.75 million is guaranteed another $41.5 million over the next two seasons.

If you trust, there isn't another pitcher in the same universe with as much surplus value as Harris.

The gap between Michael Harris II and George Kirby's surplus value ($66.8 million) is greater than Mookie Betts's total surplus value ($64.7 million).

There's not a single pitcher worth trading Harris for. I'll give Schultz the benefit of the doubt when he says "part of a deal for quality SP" that he did not mean packaging Harris with prospects for this hypothetical starting pitcher who is supposed to save the Braves during the postseason (a team who lost because they forgot how to hit for four straight games).

To demonstrate how insane Michael Harris II's trade value is, here's one I put through the simulator:

The Philadelphia Phillies could trade their ace Zack Wheeler, their 2023 most valuable position player by fWAR Bryson Stott, and their top prospect Andrew Painter for just Michael Harris, and the trade simulator would believe that the Braves overpaid by nearly $40 million in surplus value.

Unlike second base, where the Braves could plug in Vaughn Grissom and at least get half of what Albies can produce, there's not another center fielder in sight who could produce what Harris can on the contract the Georgia native is on.

That's just like, your opinion, man

Jeff Schultz is right, at the end of the day, these are just opinions and things shouldn't get personal.

However, there are bad opinions. Bad opinions are worthy of critique.

If Schultz was willing to name pitchers he thought were worth trading Albies or Harris for, perhaps the discourse could be different.

Instead of Schultz tripling down on his opinion, even though he "leans" towards not trading them, (Not to mention he and Mark Bowman are the only people in baseball mentioning the idea, and Bowman stayed away from even the consider stage) we could have a dialogue about whether trading Albies for someone like Gerrit Cole is wise from a myriad of angles.

Since Schultz isn't willing to mention a single pitcher, or even discuss why even entertaining the idea of trading two core members of the Braves is a bad idea, however, he is deserving of some criticism.

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