The Braves have one of the best farm systems in baseball at the moment, and it's mostly due to the fact that they've got a legit surplus of pitching talent on the farm. Of course, it'd be foolish to expect the Braves to keep all of those arms under their employ, which means that we'll probably start seeing them deal from that surplus in order to acquire some bats. It'd be amazing to see the Braves lead the league in 1-0 victories, but it'd also be nice to see them score some runs as well, and dealing some of those pitching prospects appears to be one of the ways in which the Braves can acquire players who will score runs.
"I think that we have shown we are open to anything and that we are not afraid," Coppolella said. "I think you can look at prospects as being a kind of currency."
The Braves have certainly enhanced the value of their pitching prospect market over the course of the past year. Pitchers account for 11 of the top 14 spots on the club's Top 30 Prospects list, and 10 of those 11 pitchers have been acquired since the end of the 2014 season.
As the Braves have compiled this abundance of arms, they have done so with the understanding that there is a good chance that just two or three of these young hurlers develop to the point where they play a significant role as a starting pitcher.
Naturally, all of these trade talks and actual trades have got Braves Country on edge right now. It's understandable, and the Braves front office is taking some major heat right now (even if we should probably think about pumping the brakes a bit in that regard). With that being said, this all part of a process that baseball teams have been going through from quite some time now. Yahoo's Jeff Passan believes that we should trust the process, even if it will be painful at times.
It’s what makes the duality of Freeman so painful. The Braves, by all means, should be seeking trades for him to see the market. This is not wrong. This is not a sign the Braves don’t care about their fans. This is the best way to build a baseball team.
Fans are predictable. Those who don’t understand the benefit of rebuilding bellyache about it until the team turns around, and then they hail the architects damn geniuses. Winning is the greatest salve, and if the Braves follow the path of the Astros and Cubs, they’ll be feted throughout Atlanta.
In the meantime, nobody needs to speak in absolutes or offer limbs as penance, least of all those running the Braves. Freddie Freeman can be theirs for another six years and $118.5 million or another team’s if its offer makes the Braves of 2017 and ’18 and beyond a better team. No matter what they say, the Braves of 2016 are going to lose, and they may lose spectacularly, and it’s what they should do. Rebuilding is not for the faint of heart, and it’s certainly not for those who engage in half-measures.
Kolby Allard's talent and potential are undeniable. With that being said, he did have a bit of an injury concern when he had to have back surgery earlier this year. Now, Mark Bowman has confirmed reports that Allard had another back surgery after the Gulf Coast League season ended. The good news is that Allard will be ready for Spring Training, but there's still a concern about that back of his. Hopefully the injury concerns are behind him now, because it'd be a shame if this followed him on his path to the majors.
While the Freddie Freeman trade rumors have cooled down considerably due to fan fatigue, that hasn't stopped the trade rumors from heating up in regards to Shelby Miller. He was linked to trade talks with the Diamondbacks, and now there's word that the Giants and Dodgers were giving the Braves a ring on the ol' cellular phone once they heard that he was available. While we probably shouldn't expect the Braves to get someone like A.J. Pollock in exchange for Shelby Miller (since the Diamondbacks have apparently learned their lesson after they got fleeced for Touki Toussaint), he could command a decent enough return should the Braves decide to go super-shrewd and move him after only a 1-year stint in Atlanta.
The Cy Young Awards were announced yesterday evening, and two men with glorious beards were named the 2015 Cy Young Award winners. Dallas Keuchel became the third Houston Astros pitcher to win the award after having a stellar campaign for the breakout team in the AL, while Jake Arrieta's absurdly-good second half was good enough to propel him to the award. The NL Cy Young could've easily gone to Clayton Kershaw or Zack Grienke as well, which goes to show you where the balance of power lies when it comes to hitting and pitching in baseball right now.