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Talking Chop MiLB Roundtable: TC Discusses Trading Prospect Capital

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Do the Braves have what it takes to win in 2020 and could a trade put them over the top towards reaching the goal of a world series win?

Detroit Tigers v Atlanta Braves - Jasseel De La Cruz delivers a pitch
Jasseel De La Cruz is one of many players vying for a future in Atlanta who could be attractive trade bait to a team looking to the future
Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Trades are a bit of a tricky subject around these parts. Everyone loves their prospects, and it is a shame to see some of these guys we’ve watched grow through the system move on to other organizations. Still, moves must be made with the future and the now in mind, and the Talking Chop minor league crew discusses if now is the time to cash in the chips to make the upgrades the team needs.

Should the Braves be willing to move prospects in trades this summer to go after another starter to fill out the rotation and try to win big in 2020?

Wayne: From my earliest days of prospecting at Minor League Ball, I have always believed that prospects were meant to be traded. The Ronald Acuña’s are rare — we’re talking an MVP caliber player every year, every game, every at bat — and the Braves don’t have that generational talent in the minors right now. So my answer here is an easy yes. They should have in 2018 and 2019 as well. The price has to be right, though.

Gaurav: Absolutely. Your window is only so long and the Braves lineup and bullpen are both stacked with talent. I think only Pache is untradable because he has a clear path to the majors but everyone else should be up for consideration to build out a rotation that can compete for a World Series.

Aaron: I know they started out hot, but look at things now. The starting rotation is a mess. Albies is hurt and now Acuña is day to day. Wrist injuries are tricky and could linger all season for both. Swanson’s shine came off real fast again. Things got so bad with the strikeouts that Markakis opted back into the season. This is not the time to be making big bold moves. Certainly not for a big time starter. Maybe a cheap veteran to eat innings that would only cost someone as big as a Trey Harris/Justin Dean. Only big move I’ll accept is for Lindor.

Matt: My answer is not unless you can build a rotation to be able to match the Dodgers in a series. Losing Mike Soroka hurt, but it means we only have one starter I would personally be comfortable throwing out there in a playoff series in Max Fried. Cole Hamels could be a second, but by the time he returns he will have gone close to a year without pitching a game and still have to build himself back up. You’d need to add 2 starters at minimum for anything to be worth it.

Eric: Should they be willing to make a move for a starter, especially if that starter has some extra years of control? Absolutely...this is the team’s window to win. However, I am extremely skeptical that trades of significance will happen between now and the trade deadline. No one knows what the financial landscape of sports will look like next year, the expanded playoffs means more teams will be in contention which means less teams will be selling, and the teams that are going to be bad either don’t have anyone worth getting OR might think that this year is a fluke and will want to hang on to the guys worth having. Trades are good, but I don’t see how to be optimistic about a significant trade in-season.

Garrett: Any deal the Braves make now should be made with team control through at least 2021, preferably more. There need to be upgrades to this team, even if it was fully healthy, and if Soroka was still on this team I’d say you’re a World Series contender and you better take that chance now. With him out, even an additional pitcher probably doesn’t make you a frontrunner to win it all so burning high level talent on a rental would be foolish. That said, if you’ve got a guy in the back half of your system that doesn’t really fit well long term - say a Trey Harris or a Victor Vodnik - and you can get a pitcher to help this team now you have to do it. The team needs help even if it’s just to protect the bullpen from being worn down and from forcing unready players into MLB action.