The Atlanta Braves have an interesting dilemma when Ender Inciarte is finally healthy once again. The team has plenty of depth and will have to decide if Inciarte is trade bait or a depth piece.
Trading Ender Inciarte would be a huge mistake for the Atlanta Braves. Inciarte plays gold glove defense and after the first half of the season is an above average hitter. Using Ender as a defensive replacement and bench player is a great idea for Atlanta.
Despite his struggles and .218 average so far this season Inciarte is a career .286 hitter, well above average. His ability in the outfield elevates his value as well for a team in need of depth.
While the frustration with Inciarte is understandable those who do want Inciarte traded, they are using a prisoner of the moment approach. Yes, Inciarte has been frustrating to watch this season. He has been inconsistent and even his defense has taken a step back.
The reasons some want Inciarte traded is the exact reason it makes little sense to trade the young outfielder. The Braves would be selling at Inciarte’s lowest point and giving up on what has been a very productive player.
Inciarte is a proven player who has a lot more value than the Braves would get for him currently. Even if they opted to trade the outfielder now isn’t the time. Inciarte needs time to rebuild his value.
Value once established is more useful to the team rather than on the trade market. Using Inciarte as a pinch runner and late defensive replacement is Atlanta’s best option. Until Austin Riley cools or the team faces another injury.
Inciarte is a frustrating player, but a player that Atlanta needs to succeed if they hope to have the depth to be a contender this season. Inciarte turning around his season will help Atlanta push past the mediocrity they have been stuck in through the first two months of the season.