The Atlanta Braves have had a busy off-season but there is one more move that they need to make.
Atlanta Braves fans have enjoyed an eventful off-season that on the surface has made the team better as they head into the new stadium. Whether or not the team is truly trying to compete this season is debatable. What isn’t debatable is that it is time for the Braves to focus on the youth and strength of their farm and to trade Mike Foltynewicz.
Foltynewicz joined the Braves early on in their rebuild and has dealt with a myriad of injuries in his career. Injuries alone are not the reason now is the time to trade Foltynewicz. Say what you want about his velocity, but he hasn’t shown anything as a starter to indicate that he is capable of being the ace that many Braves fans expect him to be.
Braves fanboys see Foltynewicz’s velocity and instantly think ace of staff, while velocity helps it does little if you don’t truly know how to pitch. Foltynewicz is a thrower who could turn into a great bullpen option late in games. His velocity is overwhelming enough alone to allow him to pitch innings as a reliever for short times. As a starter he struggles to continue to get outs and to pitch deep into games. The action on his pitches is limited at best and when they are hit result in a lot of balls hit a very long way.
The Braves could choose to stick with Foltynewicz and ultimately turn him into a valuable bullpen piece. While this may seem the way to go it would make even more sense to take advantage of Folynewicz’s value as a starter on the current market and take advantage of a player’s value that is headed in the wrong direction.
Trading Foltynewicz either for a prospect or a piece to benefit the current Major League team would be a great move. The Braves current depth with the addition of Kris Medlen, Jaime Garcia, Bartolo Colon, and R.A. Dickey would allow the Braves some flexibility with their projected pitching staff. There are plenty of young impressive arms in the Braves’ farm system that could replace the production that Mike Foltynewicz has given the Braves.
Matt Wisler could be given another chance to prove he belongs in a Major League rotation as well, after struggling for most of last season. Wisler is young pitcher who doesn’t have overwhelming velocity but has demonstrated in the past he knows how to pitch in the truest sense of the word.
If the Braves were to attempt to trade Mike Foltynewicz now is the time to make the move before another injury strikes or his value takes a hit when he is inevitably moved to the Braves’ bullpen. It is hard to guess how large of a return that the Braves could garner by trading Foltynewicz, regardless, now is the time to trade Mike Foltynewicz.