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Atlanta Gets Bronson Arroyo and Touki Toussaint


splitterpfj

Folks, pay attention to what has happened in Atlanta since the end of last season. The "blew it up" - new GM, some changes in scouting, and trades all over the place, aimed at adding young talent.

 

Both Uptons are gone, Craig Kimbrel is gone, Evan Gattis is gone - in their places are plenty of young pitchers, some in the big leagues now, some not yet. With them came extra picks and extra signing allotments for the just-completed draft, and tonight, the Braves got Touki Toussaint, who was a first-round pick just a year ago.

 

The Brewers looked long and hard at Toussaint, as did plenty of other teams - he's a young pitcher with a very live, but unrefined arm.

 

What this will all add up to remains to be seen, of course, but if you're hoping the Brewers go into total rebuild mold, pay attention to Atlanta.

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I don't think the Brewers will go as far as the Braves did. I have a hard time believing that Mark A. is gonna give up on the window of opportunity that closed a WHILE back. At best he'll probably half-ass the rebuild because he wants to have his cake and eat it too.
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This was nothing but a salary dump - "Take Arroyo's contract, and you can have one of our best prospects with him."

 

Twitter has exploded, with every baseball analyst you've ever heard of just destroying AZ, and praising John Hart for turning Atlanta's farm system around in six months.

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I find myself fawning for the Braves approach toward acquiring young talent, yet being thankful I am not a DBacks fan at the same time. I have posted it previously, but the list of players the Braves have added to their farm system over the past several months is just staggering. While certainly there are no guarantees with any given prospect, the Braves are increasing their odds for success based on the sheer quantity of talented players they are continuing to add.
Not just “at Night” anymore.
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From November 16th, 2014 to now.

 

Braves trade 2B Tommy LaStella to Cubs for Arodys Vizcaino

 

Braves trade RF Jason Heyward and RHP Jordan Walden to Cardinals for RHP Shelby Miller and RHP Tyrell Jenkins

 

Braves trade LF Justin Upton and RHP Aaron Northcraft to Padres for 2B Jace Peterson, LHP Max Fried, 3B Dustin Peterson, CF Mallex Smith

 

Braves trade LHP Chasen Shreve and RHP David Carpenter to Yankees for LHP Manny Banuelos

 

Braves trade 1B/OF/C/DH Evan Gattis and RHP James Hoyt to Astros for RHP Mike Foltynewicz, 3B Rio Ruiz and RHP Andrew Thurman

 

Braves trade RHP Craig Kimbrel and CF Melvin Upton Jr. to Padres for RHP Matt Wisler, CF Cameron Maybin, LF Carlos Quentin and LF Jordan Paroubeck

 

And now this trade. What a fantastic job by the Braves this year to clear some payroll and acquire some high upside pitching prospects and in the case of Miller a major league pitcher. Consider me impressed and jealous.

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From November 16th, 2014 to now.

 

Braves trade 2B Tommy LaStella to Cubs for Arodys Vizcaino

 

Braves trade RF Jason Heyward and RHP Jordan Walden to Cardinals for RHP Shelby Miller and RHP Tyrell Jenkins

 

Braves trade LF Justin Upton and RHP Aaron Northcraft to Padres for 2B Jace Peterson, LHP Max Fried, 3B Dustin Peterson, CF Mallex Smith

 

Braves trade LHP Chasen Shreve and RHP David Carpenter to Yankees for LHP Manny Banuelos

 

Braves trade 1B/OF/C/DH Evan Gattis and RHP James Hoyt to Astros for RHP Mike Foltynewicz, 3B Rio Ruiz and RHP Andrew Thurman

 

Braves trade RHP Craig Kimbrel and CF Melvin Upton Jr. to Padres for RHP Matt Wisler, CF Cameron Maybin, LF Carlos Quentin and LF Jordan Paroubeck

 

And now this trade. What a fantastic job by the Braves this year to clear some payroll and acquire some high upside pitching prospects and in the case of Miller a major league pitcher. Consider me impressed and jealous.

 

All of this, and a draft that brought in four more pitchers, a third baseman and a catcher in the first 89 picks.

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From November 16th, 2014 to now.

 

Braves trade 2B Tommy LaStella to Cubs for Arodys Vizcaino

 

Braves trade RF Jason Heyward and RHP Jordan Walden to Cardinals for RHP Shelby Miller and RHP Tyrell Jenkins

 

Braves trade LF Justin Upton and RHP Aaron Northcraft to Padres for 2B Jace Peterson, LHP Max Fried, 3B Dustin Peterson, CF Mallex Smith

 

Braves trade LHP Chasen Shreve and RHP David Carpenter to Yankees for LHP Manny Banuelos

 

Braves trade 1B/OF/C/DH Evan Gattis and RHP James Hoyt to Astros for RHP Mike Foltynewicz, 3B Rio Ruiz and RHP Andrew Thurman

 

Braves trade RHP Craig Kimbrel and CF Melvin Upton Jr. to Padres for RHP Matt Wisler, CF Cameron Maybin, LF Carlos Quentin and LF Jordan Paroubeck

 

And now this trade. What a fantastic job by the Braves this year to clear some payroll and acquire some high upside pitching prospects and in the case of Miller a major league pitcher. Consider me impressed and jealous.

 

Not to mention that they had a good draft this year. The amount of talent that they accumulated is ridiculous.

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This is the type of reason you shed salary. It gives you the financial flexibility to do deals like this. Braves bought a very interesting arm for $10 million. In the end, it might be a bad move, but it is all part of an aggressive plan.
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I mean they got Touki just now, but they really bought him. And it's going to cost them a minimum of 10 million Arroyo bucks. That's a lot of toss around cash for one prospect. This is also a very interesting way to subvert the inability to trade draft picks...
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This TWEET from the DBacks Official Twitter account includes a quote from GM Dave Stewart following the trade announcement.

 

@Dbacks: Stew: "With this year's draft we stacked our minor league system with college guys" who are ahead of Touki Toussaint on depth chart.

I guess they are taking the "embarrassment of riches" approach in justifying it to their fan base, but it doesn't appear the majority of the industry agrees with their assessment.

Not just “at Night” anymore.
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The difference though is there is no salary cap in baseball. So while it may be more justifiable to dump salary in sport with a salary cap, it makes much less sense in baseball. Especially when other avenues for acquiring young baseball talent is regulated with spending limits (i.e. draft slot money and international bonus limits). It would be especially hard to swallow as a DBacks fan when you factor in details such as the team reportedly just recently signing a greater than $1 billion TV deal as well as the fact they spent $16 million to sign Cuban Yoan Lopez (considered by many an inferior pitcher to Touki) which will cost them the opportunity to sign any international player for more than $300K for the next two years (and at a time when they have been allotted the largest international bonus pool).
Not just “at Night” anymore.
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Could this be considered the equivalent of giving Toussaint a $10M signing bonus? Obviously Toussaint doesn't get the money, but in essence they "signed" him for $10M. With the #1 overall pick slot value being around $8.5M, I don't know that this is a good deal. Toussaint was the #16th overall pick with a slot value of around $2.6M. Seems like a big overpay for a prospect who may or may not pan out.

 

To put in perspective, what if the Brewers traded Jed Bradley and Lohse for a 26-year-old utility player? You'd be happy, or at the least, not be upset, right? What's the difference between the two deals? Bradley has been given time to fail, Toussaint has not.

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The draft signing amounts are artificially held below market value because of the pool/slotting system in place. It is not a good barometer of fair market value for a prospect. Specifically regarding Toussaint, he also would have gone much higher if he was in this year's draft and he has had relative success while not being allowed by his previous organization to throw arguably his best pitch. I would also contend that Bradley, even when drafted, did not have anywhere near the ceiling of Toussaint.
Not just “at Night” anymore.
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Could this be considered the equivalent of giving Toussaint a $10M signing bonus? Obviously Toussaint doesn't get the money, but in essence they "signed" him for $10M. With the #1 overall pick slot value being around $8.5M, I don't know that this is a good deal. Toussaint was the #16th overall pick with a slot value of around $2.6M. Seems like a big overpay for a prospect who may or may not pan out.

 

To put in perspective, what if the Brewers traded Jed Bradley and Lohse for a 26-year-old utility player? You'd be happy, or at the least, not be upset, right? What's the difference between the two deals? Bradley has been given time to fail, Toussaint has not.

The draft is rigged to keep salaries low, so in that context, it doesn't make sense.

 

But this is more like an international free agent. It's basically a club paying a $10M signing bonus - although the bonus goes to AZ - not the player.

 

If Toussaint was a 19 year old Cuban, and he was on the market, he'd probably fetch $10M easily - even with international spending restrictions.

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To put in perspective, what if the Brewers traded Jed Bradley and Lohse for a 26-year-old utility player? You'd be happy, or at the least, not be upset, right? What's the difference between the two deals? Bradley has been given time to fail, Toussaint has not.

 

I mean, now? It would probably be meh, whatever. If they did it a year after he was signed just to clear an awful contract that they shouldn't have signed the player to in the first place? I'd be furious.

 

And you can't really compare Toussaint to Bradley. Bradley is a few years older and has never pitched as well as Toussaint is as an 18/19 year old.

 

It'd probably be more like trading Jeffress. Now obviously Jeffress didn't turn into a starter but with the payroll flexibility the Braves have, it makes sense to take a gamble on an extremely talented prospect when all you have to do is add $9.25 million and give up a utility player.

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Do we have a Brett Lawrie/Trevor Bauer maybe on our hands in Toussaint? It'll probably come out eventually if so. Touki from the videos I watched last year, scared me of location in pitches. He also gave me the attitude of not really being all that interested while on the mound. The DBacks' cash savings and maybe their scouts opinion of him could make them huge winners in this trade.

Will Atlanta now just dump Arroyo like they did other contracts? Or keep him and play him when he's healthy?

 

This will just have to go in the TBD department.

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AZ has traded away more young potential impact pitching than any other organization and it shows, they float around .500 chasing an extra couple of wins each year and on occasion will rise up and have a good season. Meanwhile the pitching they've traded away flourishes elsewhere.

 

It's too bad the Brewers haven't managed to get one of those impact arms in a trade. The best we did was JDLR and he was already in AAA with a BB rate near 4. That Sexson trade was more about immediate wins and revamping a horrid roster but the Vargas/Estrada deal was just awful. JDLR had an interesting path... from ARI, to the Mexican League, to BOS, to ARI, to MIL in 5 years.

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