Atlanta Braves: Trade for Rockies’ Arenado, LeMahieu?


This offseason, the Atlanta Braves must address their offensive woes, along with what pitchers will crack the 2016 starting rotation.

The Atlanta Braves lack offensive prowess, finishing as the league’s worst hitting ball club; however, by acquiring a couple impact bats this offseason, the Braves can fix their glaring offensive struggles. John Hart made it a priority to rebuild the farm system; thus, he stockpiled young assets by trading away most of the team’s key players. But, is it time to flip some of the prospects acquired last season to improve the team?

-= Related: Atlanta Braves: Dissecting Team Needs in 2016 =-

In the 2015 offseason, Hart traded for Matt Wisler, Max Fried, Touki Toussaint, Manny Banuelos, and other notable players. Hart looked to improve the Atlanta Braves’ farm system by accumulating an abundance of young arms. With the Braves’ offense being absent in 2015, trades may loom large this offseason in Atlanta. One team that the Braves could partner with is the Colorado Rockies.

The Colorado Rockies traded away their star shortstop this season, Troy Tulowitzki. The Rockies knew they needed to start rebuilding for the future, and they must improve their starting pitching. In the Tulowitzki trade, the Rockies acquired Jose Reyes and three pitching prospects. The Rockies knew that they must add quality arms to their impact bats if they plan on transforming into a contender. 

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With the Rockies needing quality arms and the Atlanta Braves having a surplus, the two teams make for viable trade partners. Next season, the Braves have nine arms capable of making the five-man rotation; therefore, Hart could exercise the option of trading a couple prospects to acquire big-name hitters. The Rockies have a plethora of hitting, ranging from Nolan Arenado to Charlie Blackmon.

Next season, the Atlanta Braves must address their questions at second base, third base, and the outfield. Two names on the Rockies’ roster that fit John Hart‘s 2017 mold are Nolan Arenado and DJ LeMahieu. Nolan Arenado comes off his strongest season of his career, hitting 42 home runs while driving in 130 RBI (both N.L. bests). Also, DJ Lemahieu is one of the best two-way players in baseball, hitting for a high average and playing Gold Glove defense.  

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  • The Rockies are no closer than the Atlanta Braves are to winning a division title, and one could argue that the Rockies are futher away than the Braves, due to their poor farm system. The Rockies have not locked up Arenado to a long-term deal, and that may play into the hands of the Braves. Both Lemahieu and Arenado are eligible for arbitration after this season.

    If the duo were traded together, they command a high price, likely wiping out a good portion of the Atlanta Braves’ farm system; however, prospects never held as much value as they do in this day in age. For players who are valued solely on potential, prospects carry more value than every before. Thus, the Braves need to consider parting ways with a couple in order to get better, faster.

    Braves’ fans are not fond of losing, much less being one of the worst teams in baseball. A trade involving two Gold Glove winners would catapult the Atlanta Braves into contender-status immediately. The Rockies will not let Arenado nor LeMahieu go cheap, even more so for the pair. The Braves would likely give up three top-5 prospects, along with a couple everyday players.

    With a trade involving Arenado and Lemahieu, you suspect the Rockies would go after young arms, likely involoving Touki Toussaint (#2 prospect on MLBPipeline), Manny Banuelos (#5 prospect), and Max Fried (#6 prospect). Also, the Rockies need to fill the holes they would trade away, so that could bring Adonis Garcia or Hector Olivera (third base hole) into the equation and Jace Peterson or Daniel Castro (second base). 

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    If the Rockies received five prospects for two starters, they may jump at the offer; however, the Rockies could want even more value, so the Rockies may inquire about a potential trade adding Ozhaino Albies (#1 prospect) or Tyrell Jenkins (#4 prospect) into the fold. Regardless, Nolan Arenado and DJ LeMahieu could transform the Atlanta Braves into a contender both offensive and defensively.

    While the Colorado Rockies are in no hurry to trade away their stars, the Troy Tulowitzki trade shows that if you ante-up with the right offer, a trade could happen. John Hart worked hard the past offseason to build the farm system, but 2017 is quickly approaching, and Hart does not want the Atlanta Braves’ struggles to go past 2016. Look for Hart to be active either in free agency or the trade market. 

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