The club acquired the 76th overall pick next month (and Brian Matusz for about 10 minutes) for Brandon Barker and Trevor Belicek. Matusz, who was DFA'd right after the deal was announced, will cost the Braves $3.9 million this season. In exchange, the Braves added their fifth top-80 pick (they also hold picks 3, 40, 44 and 80).
Barker and Belicek were 16th round picks in 2015 and 2014, respectively. The Braves flipped the two of them for the 76th overall pick. Last year, the club used the 75th pick to add A.J. Minter, a high-upside college reliever with a chance to be a closer one day. He should see Atlanta by 2017.
To be fair to both of the players Atlanta dealt, they were having nice seasons in Mississippi. But you trade a Barker and a Belicek to get the 76th overall pick. Giancarlo Stanton was taken 76th overall.
The deal also gives the Braves approximately $840,000 to add to their bonus pool. One would think the Braves would try to cut a deal with someone at No. 3 and then draft expensive prep talents at 40, 44, 76 and/or 80 for over-slot money. That's how you take advantage of a high draft pick -- by rigging the system.
Again, it's entirely possible the 76th pick next month doesn't do anything. Baseball is hard. Players taken a lot higher than 76 have been junk.
But perhaps he gives the Braves a few decent seasons. Perhaps he becomes a starter for five years. Perhaps he becomes an All-Star and we look back at this deal as a major key in the club's rebuild.
For the cost of two fringe-prospects and less than $4 million in a billion-dollar industry, it's a smart, savvy move by the Braves.