Los Angeles, California– Sometimes we get so wrapped up in all of the ridiculous mega millions that players get in free agency, that we miss some of the significant trades teams make as they try to improve their organizations. One such trade occurred involving nine players and three teams this week. The Braves, A’s and Brewers.
The Braves gave up 6 of the 9 players in this deal, to secure the number 3 ranked catcher in baseball, Sean Murphy from the A’s. They received only Murphy for six quality prospects. This deal has all the makings of a lopsided one, with one team getting much more than the other two in the long run. But for me, it is nice to see that trades can be more exciting than free agent signings for hundreds of millions of dollars.
The Braves get Murphy from the A’s for veteran catcher Manny Piña, Barquisimeto, Venezuela, LHP Kyle Muller, their #1-ranked prospect, RHP Freddy Tarnok, their #6-ranked prospect and RHP Royber Salinas, Guarenas, Venezuela, the club’s #18-ranked prospect. Atlanta also gave up 24 year old 2022 All-Star catcher William Contreras, Puerto Cabello, Venezuela and RHP Justin Yeager to the Brewers as part of the 9 player swap. The A’s also received from the Brewers, their #8-ranked prospect OF Esteury Ruiz, Azua, Dominican Republic. In return the Brewers received RHP Joel Payamps, Santiago, Dominican Republic from the A’s.
Braves president of baseball operations Alex Anthopoulos said: “It’s always hard to trade guys away. It’s just a rare opportunity to get a premium defensive player at a premium position. We gave up a lot of talented guys that we like. But we look at Sean and how he fits with this core and this group, and it’s a really good fit.”
My mentor and super scout Tom “Tbone” Giordano, who spent 70 plus years in baseball would always tell me: “If you want the filet mignon of baseball you have to give up filet mignon.” And always remember, “If you are giving up prospects they are just that, prospects.”
The “Hot Stove” league every winter is just getting started and the trades made today will be looked at all season long. We will dissect these deals and argue about who got the best out of all of these trades. We will watch to see what players will be hits and who will be flops. We will second guess the wisdom of some General Managers and applaud the few who got it right.
Trades will always be intertwined into the excitement of the game that we see on the diamond. It is all part of the beautiful mix that is baseball.
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