I was too busy recovering from shock to have seen this Buster Olney item from yesterday, but I’m sane today and … it’s probably going to send me back into insanity if there are any legs to it:
The Braves need power production out of right field. Now there is some sentiment within the organization that Atlanta might be better off dealing Heyward and taking advantage of his value or, at the very least, considering alternatives as they wait for him to develop.
Whoever in the organization is harboring such sentiment should have their head examined. Heyward is 22. He had a bad-for-him year, but was still the Braves’ best outfielder. Faint praise, but it’s true.
More to the point, he’s 22-years-old and has excelled at every level of baseball going back to little league. He had some health problems and some adjustment issues in 2011. Classic recipe for a sophomore slump. But that doesn’t change the fact that he is a fantastic ballplayer with outstanding promise. And it’s not like the Braves have a ton of those whose primary job is to hit the ball a long way.
I’m going to choose to believe that someone with the Braves is simply messing with Olney. If there is any more to this, however, the Braves and I are going to have a long conversation about the state of our relationship.
It was rumored to be close last night but now Bob Nightengale of USA Today is reporting that the Cubs and Royals have agreed to the Wade Davis for Jorge Soler deal. Jeff Passan of Yahoo first reported that the deal was close last night. It’s not a completely done deal as the official announcement is pending physicals, but an announcement could come this morning.
Davis has been one of the most dominant relievers in baseball over the past three seasons, posting a 1.18 ERA with 47 saves and a 234/59 K/BB ratio in 182.2 innings. He did, however, miss a lot of time in 2016 — basically the month of August — due to arm trouble and expecting him to be the circa 2014 Wade Davis is probably unrealistic. He’s owed $10 million for 2017 and can become a free agent after the 2017 season. He’ll fill the void left by the departing Aroldis Chapman as Joe Maddon and the World Series champs’ closer.
Soler, who will be 25 when the 2017 season begins, hit .238/.333/.436 with 12 homers and 36 RBI in 86 games last season. He strikes out a lot but takes walks t00 and has shown some good power in short bursts. He’s the sort of player who one could easilsy see putting things together to become a solid regular, which makes him a decent return for giving up a closer in his walk year.
USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports that a team — identity unknown — has offered $92 million to closer Aroldis Chapman.
We’re definitely in Crazy Town when it comes to relievers. Earlier this week the Giants made Mark Melancon the highest-paid reliever in history with a “mere” $62 million deal. Yesterday the Cubs traded for Wade Davis. Kenley Jansen is out on the market looking to get a deal larger than that. Chapman — who posted 1.55 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, and 90/18 K/BB ratio in 58 innings while helping the Cubs win the World Series — will,in all likelihood, top them all.
Teams reportedly in pursuit of Chapman: the Yankees, for whom he played last season before being traded to Chicago, the Nationals, Marlins and Dodgers.