It’s December, which means that John Coppolella is busy in the trade market. His latest deal is one that brings lefty starter Jaime Garcia to the Braves in exchange for prospects Chris Ellis, Luke Dykstra, and John Gant. As Scott noted in his reaction to the news, it’s a pretty minimal cost for a pitcher who won’t be as good as he was during his prime but should still provide a decent amount of value to a team like the Braves on a one-year contract.
John Coppolella didn't have to surrender any of his big chips to make the trade happen, and he still has plenty of firepower should he want to do something bigger.
Steamer projects Jaime Garcia to be worth 2.4 WAR over 140 innings next year. That seems reasonable given his track record. That would be something the Braves would take all day.
Meanwhile, the crew over at Viva El Birdos saw this coming when the Cardinals exercised their option on Garcia’s contract, and described the trade as being “necessary” from St. Louis’ point of view.
The move is probably a necessary one given where the Cardinals rotation stands, but it is still bittersweet as Garcia has incredible stuff and on a few occasions, he was one of the best pitchers in all of baseball. He pitched the game of his life this past season against the Brewers in April, striking out 13 against one hit and one walk in a shutout. He also had a great game against his future team in August, striking out 11 against three hits and one walk in eight shutout innings.
While he took the mound 30 times this year, his overall numbers were disappointing with a 4.49 FIP and 4.67 ERA. It is possible some of those numbers were due to fatigue over the course of a long season that could be fixed by the offseason, and some of the numbers could be due to poor luck with homers.
On another note, Craig Edwards of Fangraphs sees this as the Braves trading for “upside,” and it’s a take that makes sense. If Jaime Garcia can return to the form that he flashed in 2015, then the Braves could potentially have a major steal on their hands.
...If Garcia is actually hurt, it’s tough to figure how the Braves could expect much from him next season. If he was simply pitching fatigued, it’s reasonable to expect something closer to vintage Garcia in 2017. Garcia was pitching more innings than he had in half a decade last year, and the Cardinals probably didn’t help matters by pitching him on short rest for a start in August. Finally, if Garcia was just experiencing a run of bad luck — again, the Braves can hope for good production.
Earlier this week, we shared the news that Braves first base coach Eddie Perez was reportedly set to manage the Venezuelan team at the WBC after they decided to get rid of Omar VIzquel. Well, things are getting dicey now as the team is considering boycotting if Vizquel doesn’t stay on. It’s definitely a tricky situation for Perez, who could’ve used the opportunity to manage his homeland’s baseball team as a prime chance to pick up some managerial experience. Instead, he’s got a mutiny on his hands with just one foot in the door. What a situation!
Fred McGriff is still on the Hall of Fame ballot, and he actually saw his vote percentage increase last season. He’s still got an uphill climb to make in order to reach the promised land of Cooperstown, but just how steep is that climb? Carlos Collazo tried to figure it out for us in his latest post here.
Back in the summer, the Nationals and Pirates discussed a possible trade centered around Andrew McCutchen, but the talks didn’t go far. We’re knocking on winter’s door now and apparently the two parties have decided to link up again and now they appear to be getting close to a trade. It got to a point where the Nationals were trying to make sure that the deal happened yesterday. It didn’t happen, but it’s pretty clear that McCutchen’s time as a Pirate is probably coming to an end and soon, at that.
In a move that’s apparently a message from both the league and the union to the Oakland A’s to “get the lead out” when it comes to getting a deal done for a new stadium, Ken Rosenthal reported that as part of the new CBA, the Athletics will no longer receive revenue sharing from the league. Their last piece of revenue sharing was around $34 million, and now that they don’t have that to rely on, this should force the A’s to start getting proactive in trying to find a new stadium.
Of course, the anticipated loss of revenue sharing, as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser at the end of October, could be the big reason why Mr. Wolff sold most of his minority share of the team and stepped away as managing partner. What happens next is that the A’s must make up the shortfall somehow. The obvious thing is that the drawdown is designed to force the A’s to build a baseball stadium in order to make up the lost revenue.