DBacks Are Contenders, But At What Cost?

Yesterday the Braves and Diamondbacks reached an agreement headlined by pitcher Shelby Miller and prospect Dansby Swanson. It seems the stove is heating up very quickly down in Nashville at the Winter Meetings.

I think that the Braves win this deal in the future by a massive margin since they’re gaining a #1 overall draft pick in the form of Dansby Swanson. However with that being said, I believe that the DBacks win this deal for the present. The DBacks have been firing on all cylinders, getting above-expectation production out of stars Paul Goldschmidt and AJ Pollock. David Peralta has been playing well. Last season Arizona signed Cuban prospect Yasmany Tomás, now 25 years old. We can’t forget about the Zack Greinke signing and now another great pitcher Miller. The DBacks are now, dare I say it? A contender? Arizona has had themselves quite the offseason and when you can boast that your third pitcher is Patrick Corbin, I think that you’re doing something right. Also with pitching prospects Archie Bradley and Braden Shipley on the doorstep of making the big-league ballclub, the Diamondbacks rotation could be a force to be reckoned with in the near future.

The DBacks also sent pitching prospect Aaron Blair to Atlanta who impressed in his time in AA and AAA last year. Blair is the #61 prospect in all baseball and definitely has the potential to make an impact in the Braves near future. Blair will most likely find some time in the show by the end of the 2016 season if not the majority of it. The Braves also received Ender Inciarte, a speedy career 0.292 hitter who batted 0.303 last season and chances are you’ll find him near the top of the lineup in Atlanta if not the leadoff spot.

Now, Dansby Swanson. A sought-after shortstop prospect from Vanderbilt University and the #10 prospect in all of baseball. Although Dansby’s MLB games seem still a ways away, potentially 2018, or an optimistic 2017 (Possibly a Andrelton Simmons replacement), he fits into the Braves rebuilding plans for the future. Swanson is a name that the Braves can plan to build around and have in Atlanta for years to come.

At first I was shocked that the Braves got all three players from Arizona including Swanson, it is rare to see the #1 overall pick traded so shortly after his name was called on draft night. I love the Braves getting Swanson and Inciarte will make an immediate impact for the Braves offense. But I think that sneaky the best part of this trade for the Braves is Aaron Blair. Blair actually reminds me a little of Shelby Miller, but Blair is conservatively a middle of the rotation man starting next season. At the young age of 23 years old, Blair still has time to reach his ceiling and in an organization that has consistently produced top-tier pitching talent (Glavine and Smoltz among many others) I am pretty confident that Blair can reach that ceiling.

For sake of argument, let’s say that Blair becomes Shelby Miller in the future in terms of talent. So the Braves essentially traded Shelby Miller and an unnamed prospect for a younger Shelby Miller, a quality leadoff man, and the #1 overall draft pick?! When you put it that way, Braves are sittin’ pretty. Imagine if the Redskins gave up that little to draft RGIII, well they’d still have a chance at getting better year to year. Watch out for the Braves in the years to come, the NL East is getting top heavy and note to the bottom NL East teams (*cough cough* Phillies) get your stove heating up in order to keep up with the (Chipper?) Jones’.


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