On Monday, I took a look at some potential trade targets from the American League (find it here). Today, we will take a look at potential targets from the National League.
Firstly, I chose teams that will likely be dealing. Some of these teams are 2,3, hell, maybe a lifetime away from competing again, and some are just teams with trigger-heavy GMs (nods Dipoto). Then, In setting parameters, I kept it quite simple:
Most players on the list are under controls 2 year or less.
On teams that are truly awful and have no chance of competing for the next 2 years, I stretched the limit.
Also, I didn’t list any teams in the NL East as I just don’t think it’s realistic to think that the Mets, Phillies, or Nationals are interested in making the Braves better, and the Marlins have very little to give.
Let’s get to it.
OF: Derek Dietrich Control: 1 year, through arb Stats: .790 OPS, 1.1 fWAR Thoughts: Dietrich is a guy I really wanted to see in a Braves uniform after he was let go by the Marlins. Through the first 2 months of the season, Dietrich was one of the best offensive players in the entire league, producing a 1.082 OPS and 17 HRs in his first 149 PAs. However, on June 2nd, he broke. I blame the sleeveless uniforms. Dietrich, from June 2nd on, was one of the worst players in baseball, posting a .498 OPS with an eye-popping .138 BABIP. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a BABIP that low over the course of 150+ PAs. In fact, for the year, it was .176. That’s bloody remarkable, in a not so great way. Still, Dietrich carries a .761 career OPS and could be a valuable bench player as he has some positional versatility as well.
SP: Anthony DeSclafani Control: 1 year, through arb Stats: 166.2 IP, 3.88 ERA, 2.4 fWAR Thoughts: For those not in the know, the Reds hired Driveline’s founder Kyle Boddy to be the Director of Pitching Initiatives Coordinator and apparently DeSclafani attributes a boost in velo to Boddy’s methods. Averaging 95 on the fastball in 2019, DeSclafani struggled out the gate but was really good down the stretch with 80% of his pitch selection being a plus fastball and plus slider. If Reds are trading, keep an eye on this one.
SP: Trevor Bauer Control: 1 year, through arb Stats: 213 IP, 4.48 ERA, 3.3 fWAR Thoughts: Bauer might be the least liked player in the entire league, and I don’t think he knows it. An odd human being, Bauer has odd interviews. Bauer has odd temper tantrums. Bauer likes to poke the bear. I’ll be honest, he gets on my last nerve and it seems like he’d be difficult in a clubhouse. Still…the dude can pitch and even in a down year, he put up a lot of good starts. Just doesn’t feel like a target for the Braves.
RP: Raisel Iglesias Control: 2/18.125MM Stats: 67 IP, 4.16 ERA, 1.1 fWAR Thoughts: Raisel Iglesias just couldn’t keep the ball on the ground in 2019, and it really damaged his numbers, especially considering his home park is a bandbox. Still he carried a great K-rate and a good BB-rate, and it’s more likely than not that he’ll be better in 2020.
RP: Michael Lorenzen Control: 2 years, through arb Stats: 83.1 IP, 2.92 ERA, 1.2 fWAR Thoughts: Who wouldn’t want a pitcher that can moonlight as a defensive replacement in the OF and has a solid reputation as a good stick (even though it didn’t show up in 2019)? Lorenzen is an outlier of sorts as a reliever as he carries 5 pitches. He also seems to be benefitting from Kyle Boddy’s hire as he’s seen an increase in velo and was the Reds best reliever in 2019.
OF: Starling Marte Control: 2 years (both options) Stats: .855 OPS, 3.0 fWAR Thoughts: Marte is a corner OFer parading around like he’s a CFer and that likely comes to a close if he’s traded. If moved to the corner, he’s a really good player that can do a whole lot of good for any team.
SP: Chris Archer Control: 2 years through options Stats: 119.2 IP, 5.19 ERA, 0.7 fWAR Thoughts: Archer hasn’t been a good Pirate. He was a good Ray. The GB-rate dropped significantly in 2019. When his slider is good, he’s stellar. When it’s meh, he’s meh. Unfortunately for Archer, his slider hasn’t been the same since he left the dome. At this point, the Braves need a slam dunk if they’re trading for a pitcher, and he ain’t it.
RP: Keone Kela Control: 1 year, through arb Stats: 29.2 IP, 2.12 ERA, 0.4 fWAR Thoughts: Unfortunately, right shoulder inflammation took over half of Kela’s 2019, and he was putting up his best year since being a rookie. FB/CB guy, and while the FB can sit 97ish, the curve is the out pitch.
SS: Trevor Story Control: 2 years, through arb Stats: .917 OPS, 5.8 fWAR Special entry Thoughts: Story is a really good player and their should be more…well, stories about him. But we hardly ever hear about anyone on the Rockies outside of Charlie Blackmon and that 3B that every female wants to see naked. Story has large home/road splits and I think it’s fair to say he wouldn’t be a .900+ OPS player away from Coors, but he’d still run it above .800 and his 17 defensive runs saved was 2nd only to Nick Ahmed among all shortstops.
SP: Jon Gray Control: 2 years through arb Stats: 150 IP, 3.84 ERA, 2.9 fWAR Thoughts: Gray was having a serious bounceback year until a stress fracture knocked him out for the rest of the season in late August. He’s always had velo, but Gray makes his living off of a nasty slider and it was back in 2019. I’ve fake traded for him about as much as I’ve fake traded away Ender and I’d love for Anthopoulos to snag him.
RP: Wade Davis Control: 1 year/17MM + option Stats: 42.2 IP, 8.65 ERA (seriously), -0.2 fWAR Thoughts: Wade Davis is not having a good time in Denver. In fact, On July 23rd, Davis was carrying a 0.79 ERA on the road and a 9.00 ERA at home. The stats on both sides got worse and Davis had one of the worst years I’ve ever seen from a guy that was brilliant for so long. FB/CT is his calling card and both royally sucked in 2019.
RP: Jake McGee Control: 1 year+option Stats: 41 IP, 4.35 ERA, -0.3 fWAR Thoughts: Fangraphs…come the heck on. Wade Davis, 8.65 ERA and -0.2 fWAR in 42.2 IP and Jake McGee -0.3 fWAR in 41 IP? McGee was good when he could pump his FB to near triple digits. Now that he’s sitting 93-94, he’s not as good. 2.91 ERA on the road let’s us know there could still be potential in the arm.
RP: Scott Oberg Control: 2 years, through arb Stats: 56 IP, 2.25 ERA, 1.1 fWAR Thoughts: FB/SL guy that put up video game numbers when in the MiLB, and while it took a few years in MLB to figure it out, he’s been a good reliever for 3 straight years for the Rockies.
SP: Garrett Richards Control: 1 yr/8.5MM Stats: 8.2 IP, 8.31 ERA, 0.0 fWAR Thoughts: Richards was picked up on a 2-year deal by the Pads knowing that he’d be out for most of the 2019 season with Tommy John. He got into 3 games at the end of the season, and was noticeably rusty. He’s not been healthy in a long time and I think Braves are past these type moves.
RP: Kirby Yates Control: 1 year, through arb Stats: 60.2 IP, 1.19 ERA, 3.4 fWAR Thoughts: The Padres were unwise to keep Yates at the deadline, but there were rumors of an extension. It hasn’t happened yet and now he enters his last arb-year. Yates is a FB/Split guy and both were darn near unhittable this season, proven by his 15K/9.
Any on the list that you fancy? Did I leave anyone off? Let’s hear your thoughts.