When it comes to trades, you win some and you lose some. The Braves have won a lot more than they’ve lost recently, which is why they are world champs. Max Fried, Austin Riley, Dansby Swanson, Adam Duvall, Eddie Rosario, and plenty of others were all acquired through trades and have brought the Braves to a height they hadn’t achieved since 1995. However, for all the fantastic moves Atlanta has made over the last five-plus years, the Andrelton Simmons trade for Sean Newcomb sticks out like a sore thumb.
When the trade occurred back in November of 2015, it was questioned, but the Braves had a lot of faith in what Newcomb, who had just posted a 2.38 ERA across three levels, could become. Early on, it didn’t look half bad.
While Simmons was thriving in Los Angeles, finishing in the top ten of the AL MVP race in 2017, Newcomb made his major league debut and pitched fairly well for the entire season, recording a 4.32 ERA over 19 starts. The next season started even more promising for Newk. By the end of June, he had a 2.71 ERA and looked like he was on the way to the All-Star game. But things slowly fell apart to end the season, and not even a year later, he was out of the rotation altogether.
For three-plus years after that, the Braves never stopped giving Newcomb opportunities, hoping the talented lefty could finally put it together — whether it be as a starter or in relief. But for whatever reason, things just never clicked for him in Atlanta, and finally, he was designated for assignment and eventually traded to the Cubs for Jesse Chavez.
Simmons would go on to finish his contract with the Angles, racking up more than 15 WAR over five seasons. Meanwhile, Newcomb accumulated just 3.3 WAR for the Braves. This won’t go down as an all-time terrible trade, but it’s still one the Braves would like to have back. Regardless, after winning a World Series, there’s not much the organization can complain about.