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Your one stop shop for everything Atlanta Braves

Updated: 2018-01-19T07:00:02-05:00


Atlanta Braves news: Marlins shoot for the stars when it comes to Braves prospects



The Braves are indeed in trade talks with the Marlins for Christian Yelich. Miami apparently wants Ronald Acuna, though, so there’s that.


Report: Marlins asked for Acuna for Yelich

We’ve talked about how the negotiations between the Braves and Marlins when it came to Christian Yelich and/or J.T. Realmuto had seemingly been going a bit slow since the initial report that confirmed that the Braves were trying to acquire one or both of Miami’s young talents. As it turns out, the Marlins had very high hopes for their return. According to a report from Peter Gammons, the Marlins asked for Ronald Acuna in a potential trade for Yelich. As Kris said in the subtitle of that post, “Nope.”

FanGraphs: Marlins aren’t crazy in asking for Yelich

While it’s abundantly clear that the Braves are not going to trade Ronald Acuna, it’s actually understandable that the Marlins would ask for Acuna. Eric pointed this out over on Twitter.

The 26 year old right-hander made his MLB debut with the Rockies in 2017 where he posted a 6.75 ERA in three appearances where he struck out four batters and walked none in four innings of work before getting sent back down to Triple-A. In his minor league career (where he was mostly a starter before a recent conversion to reliever), Carle has posted a 4.10 ERA and has struck out 367 batters in 527 13 innings of work and opposing batters have hit .285 against him in his career.

Carle was claimed off of waivers by the Pirates just a couple of weeks ago before the Braves acquired him today. Given his track record and the fact that this is his third team in as many weeks, the price in terms of the player to be named or in cash for the Braves will likely be minimal as the Braves look for more options to bolster their reliever corps.

Rebuilds, the Cold Stove, and the Braves


Thinking about the cold stove, because there’s not much else to think about. Baseball commentary, it seems, like nature, abhors a vacuum. In past years, for those so inclined, offseasons were an opportunity to pan the myriad moves made (“Him? For how much? For how long? Are you kidding?), or pan the market, collectively, for letting some savvy Front Office snap someone up on the cheap. As you’re probably aware, the 2017-2018 offseason, meanwhile, feels like the slowest in history; as such, baseball commentary has shifted from panning individual moves to criticizing the state of affairs of baseball as a whole. (Just think, all that agita that would have been directed at an eventual Eric Hosmer contract is currently being directed at baseball’s economic system. Wild.) I could link you to some of the many blurbs and “think pieces” that have been written about the lack of activity on the free agency and trade markets over the past couple of months (and I will), but I’m sure you get the gist. Various explanations have been proffered, with varying degrees of plausibility: The degree of analytics embedded in Front Offices across the league finally rejecting, mostly outright, the idea of paying for past performance via the free agent market; The proliferation of something akin to a “unifying theory of baseball” via said analytics leading to uniform evaluation across the league, preventing matches occurring where both sides think they have gotten a good deal on a given transaction; Record profitability of MLB franchises creating an environment where there is a greater opportunity cost to inappropriate spending, because it reduces the eventual cashout an owner can get from selling the franchise; A principal-agent problem (ha, literally!) where growing player agent power is restricting deals by setting unreasonable targets and hoping teams will cave, to the direct opposition of the points above; The dreaded c-word: collusion; The lack of interesting free agents in the present market, and the combination of a plethora of them next offseason; and Some others that I will discuss in more detail below, but be mindful that I’m not excluding them as offered explanations and claiming them for my own as I discuss them below. Here’s my take on it, though -- even though no one asked. To me, this state of affairs is actually the logical progression of baseball’s current competitive and economic system, as I’ll try to elucidate below. But, when doing so, I think it’s important to keep one question in mind, for which I don’t have a good answer: if this is the logical progression, why now? As best I can tell, if my logic is sound, this probably should have happened sooner. Why it didn’t is anyone’s guess, and I don’t have a good hypothesis for it, but I’m curious if anyone else can fill in the blanks. Anyway, on to a bunch of hopefully-not-too-half-baked theories… *** It’s very easy to draw a super-simplistic model of the functioning of an MLB team by drawing on the motivation of its three primary inputs: the owner, the front office, and the players (and their agents). I think of it as something like this: Now, I acknowledge that this is super-simplistic. (Why did I even draw it? I don’t know, for the visual learners?) You could say that some owners actually have the goal of winning, and that front offices, in particular, may care more about championships than regular season wins, or they might care about something else entirely (like not getting fired), which are legitimate points. But, the main reason for arraying the three market actor groups in the triangular fashion above is to indicate that front offices really play a mediating role between two diametrically opposite demands (spend more vs. spend less) by attempting to “spend the right amount” to meet their own goals of winning, under whatever definition is most relevant to a given situation. As a result, you have somewhat of an equilibrium under this theoretical system: Players want a[...]