Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Trading Freddie Freeman makes no sense

There's a lot of rumors swirling about Freddie Freeman and Julio Teheran. I won't get into the Julio piece because I think other teams watched Julio struggle last season and trading him now would be stupid for simply one reason: his value is too low to bother with it. The Braves want to stockpile pitching so dumping a lower-value guy makes little sense.

But the Freddie trade idea? That makes even less sense than the Julio trade. Freddie Freeman is coming off a wrist injury, so you can understand why the Braves get nervous about having him on the books for the next 6 years at $118M. Wrists and hand injuries are some of the worst that baseball players can get at a position, because it keeps you sidelined while you are otherwise 100% healthy. It's maddening, and it hurts on every swing. However, even in over 200 less plate appearances last season, Freddie still posted 18 homers, slugged .471, and had 56 walks. His OPS was over .840, which is great for a slugger in this league now, and puts him among the best hitters in the game. IF he had the chance to play all 162 games, I think his numbers would have been even better than his 2013 campaign, the best of his career so far.

The Braves have no potential offensive firepower except at a couple of positions. Freddie is one of them. There's nothing they can get for Freddie offensively that would make sense to trade him, which only leaves the idea of trading him for a front-line Ace starter. Under no circumstances do I see the Braves trading Freddie Freeman for prospects only. Mainly because he's not like Simmons, who is the defensive mastermind but an offensive dud. In this day and age, teams pay for 2 things: Offense production, and top-line pitching. Freddie is one of those, and to get value he would have to be traded for the other.

But why in the world would the Braves trade for pitching and subsequently take the only feared stick out of their lineup? You can have all the pitching in the world, but if you can't score, you're doomed. Reference 2014 for the Braves. That team was 5th overall in ERA, and hovered around #1 in the majors for a long time. If you are in the top 10 in ERA in the majors, you're more likely to make the playoffs than not, but the Braves were part of 4 teams in 2014 that didn't make the playoffs in that top ten of ERA. The Braves, the Padres, the Mets, and the Mariners. Why? 29th, 30th, 22nd, and 19th in runs respectively. They couldn't score at all. And the Braves got WORSE this year in scoring.

So no, I wouldn't trade Freeman for pitching. I wouldn't even trade him for another 3 offensive players of better than average talent. Because it just doesn't make sense to do it that way right now. Freddie is one of the few actual ANSWERS this team has, and trading that away from magic beans would be a blow to the fanbase and the ticket holders. Because there's only one reason to trade Freddie for prospects, and that's to shed his $118M salary. If the Braves do that, they are spitting in the face of their supporters. Shedding payroll with the face of the Franchise would be like the Marlins trading Giancarlo Stanton for magic beans. That's something the Marlins do because they are a terribly run franchise with a madman miser for an owner.

It's not something the Braves do right after John Schuerholz just promised the fans we'd never see a season like 2015 again.


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