The Atlanta Braves continue this massive rebuild that has become extremely painful for fans; the best way I could describe it is taking punches to the gut every single time a fan favorite has been traded in the last year and a half. This continued yesterday as the team shipped defensive wizard 2- time gold glove winner Andrelton Simmons to the Angels for Erick Aybar and the top two pitching prospects Sean Newcomb and Chris Ellis.
This trade shows the team has a plan and are sticking to it I definitely respect that. I really am going to miss Simmons and his masterful glove work this one is really hard to swallow. The reality is his bat never developed as we had hoped and his contract was going to get pricey very soon. Those are some of the reasons the front office felt this deal had to be made. I don’t necessarily agree with the move, but think about it, we had Craig Kimbrel, Evan Gattis, Justin Upton, Jason Heyward and Andrelton Simmons on the team at the same time and we still weren’t able to become a serious contender in that time. It was time for something to change and the team has taken a very active approach in restocking a dried up pipeline to the major leagues.
The New Braves
This trade is similar to the others, we were able to acquire the Angels top two pitching prospects and a stopgap shortstop who is solid in Erick Aybar. Sean Newcomb is 6’5 240 pound left-hander who has an electric fastball 93 to 97 tops out at 99 with a changeup and a curveball to go with it. Many baseball experts say he has ace potential and will more than likely be up in the majors next season. He is just 22 years old in the minor league career, he is 9-4 with 2.75 ERA. He has a very high upside and I’m very excited to see what he can do when he gets his opportunity.
Chris Ellis is a 23-year-old right-hander that I would compare to Kris Medlen because he doesn’t have overpowering stuff, but he said to have a really good changeup experts say he needs a little more time to develop and figure out if he is best used out of the bullpen or as a starter he could be up in the middle of 2016 or more likely to 2017. These two guys have great upside and are great additions to a now stacked minor-league system. We now have a lot of options to sort through and figure out what’s best for our organization and the ability to flip some of these top prospects for major league talent specifically offensive players to go with this young pitching we have accumulated.
By no means am I happy getting rid of fan favorites and good baseball players, but the reality is it’s a rebuild and nobody is safe. We clearly have a plan and are sticking to it even though it’s hard for fans to swallow. This is just the first week of a wild and wacky off-season to come brace yourself Braves fans there could be more punches to come. We must trust the process and don’t forget we do have $30 million in cap space to spend so who knows what we have up our sleeves stay positive! Go Braves!