Getty Images

Braves release Adrian Gonzalez

15 Comments

If you’re one of those people who tune out of baseball news during offseason weekends — and there are a lot of you — this headline may be confusing to you. It’s all just part of one of the more creative salary dump trades in recent memory.

In case you missed it, the Braves traded Matt Kemp to the Dodgers on Saturday for Brandon McCarthyScott KazmirCharlie CulbersonAdrian Gonzalez and cash considerations. The Dodgers reportedly have no intention of keeping Matt Kemp and will likely release him. The Braves have absolutely no intention of keeping Gonzalez, and released him this afternoon.

For their trouble, the Braves pick up a couple of starting pitchers and a decent backup in Culberson while ridding themselves of Kemp. The Dodgers, in NBA-style, pick up the expiring contract of Kemp and some more salary relief which will allow them to get under the luxury tax for this year and set them up to compete in next year’s talent-laden free agent market. Gonzalez only agreed to waive his no-trade clause to go to Atlanta with the understanding that he’d be released, thereby making him a free agent. The man wants to start someplace in 2018 and that place was not going to be in Los Angeles or for any team that had to pay him his full contract. Now he can be had on the cheap and will likely latch on someplace soon.

And thus ends the Adrian Gonzalez era in Atlanta. What was your favorite part of his Braves career? Mine was his career 0.0 WAR in a Braves uniform, which made him a more effective first baseman than Gerald Perry was in seven seasons in Atlanta back in the 80s.

And people ask me why I don’t get too mad about what happens with the Braves. I lived through the Gerald Perry era, dudes. Everything after that has been cream cheese.

Ronald Acuna tops Keith Law’s top-100 prospect list

Getty Images
Leave a comment

ESPN’s Keith Law has released his annual top-100 prospects list. According to Law, Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna is the number one prospect in baseball.

After blazing through High-A and Double-A ball last season, Acuna was the youngest player in Triple-A in 2017. He was 19 years-old all season long and put up a fantastic line of .335/.384/.534 in 486 plate appearances at Double and Triple-A. He then went on to star in the Arizona Fall League, leading that circuit in homers. Law, who is not one to throw hyperbolic comps around, says, “if Acuna stays in center and maxes out his power, he’s going to be among the best players in baseball, with a Mike Trout-ish profile.”

Acuna, who is 20 now, is likely play the bulk of the season in Atlanta, even if he’s kept down at Triple-A for the first couple of weeks of the season to manipulate his service time, er, I mean to allow him to develop his skills more fully. Or something. Given the presence of reigning Gold Glove center fielder Ender Inciarte, Acuna is not likely to man center for the Braves this year, but Law says he’d be a plus right field defender, which could make the Braves outfield Death to Flying Things in 2018. At least when Nick Markakis is not playing.

Number two on the list: Blue Jays third base prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. As law notes, the name may be familiar but he’s not very much like his old man. Mostly because young Vlad can take a walk. Which is better, even if it’s nowhere near as fun as swinging at balls that bounce in the dirt first.

For the other 98, you’ll have to click through.