A couple of days ago, I wrote up a piece on trading Marcell Ozuna and his contract to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a pure salary dump for both teams. Today’s piece will not be a salary dump, which means the Braves will have to sweeten the deal in order to entice the potential suitor. Let’s get to it.
WAR, what is it good for? A lot, actually
First off, when looking at these deals, it’s necessary to weigh value. The best way to do that is to check WAR values for all parties and compare those values to salaries. When looking at someone like Marcell Ozuna, WAR value has to be thrown out the window for two reasons:
- There’s so much unknown about his health after sitting out of baseball for a year.
- The backlash from the fanbase and/or media might be too much to even employ such a player, and Ozuna could very well just be DFA’d.
I know many go directly to the MLB Trade Simulator, but I’d caution anyone not to put too much value in those numbers as some are just wildly off.
When weighing the value of a prospect, there obviously is no WAR to weigh; therefore, using FV, short for Future Value over at Fangraphs, can give you an idea of what the player would be worth in a trade scenario. None of this is foolproof, but it’s the best we have of gaining an idea on how to balance out trades.
Braves and Twins Blockbuster?
The Minnesota Twins finished 73-89 last year and are likely to be a few years away from being serious competitors again. They were rumored to be shopping most of their stars at the deadline last year, but chose to stand pat. I think this offseason might see the Twins tear it down to build it back up quickly, and the Braves sure seem like good fits for some of their players.
The Trade Proposal
Breakdown of Twins Value: Donaldson is owed $43.5MM these next two years with an $8MM buyout or a $16MM club option (if traded, $2M paid by acquiring club, with 2024 option becoming a $16M mutual option with a $6M buyout, payable only if declined by the club), thus totaling, at the least, $51.5MM. Buxton is in his last year of arb, and the Braves would likely pay him around $7.5MM. Donaldson would primarily serve as the DH but would get snaps in at 3B when Riley moves over to 1B to let Freddie Freeman (I’m holding the faith and you should too) rest from the field by taking the DH position. Donaldson’s value is a little under the water, likely coming in at around $16MM/yearly for 2022 and 2023, but I fully believe he has good years ahead of him. Buxton’s value is anyone’s guess. When he’s on the field, he’s the best there is in CF. My guess is he’s valued at around $15MM, bringing their value to a total of $47MM for about $59MM in cost.
Breakdown of Braves Value: Any trade including Ozuna is going to look underwater out of the gate, and that’s the way one has to value it. It starts at -$36MM, maybe even -$42MM. From there, the Braves have to offset any media backlash, which means the Braves would have to overpay. My guess is $60MM in assets. Waters, Elder, and Contreras together are right around that mark and, if we’re lucky, the Braves will not miss them that much.
Remember, y’all. Flags Fly Forever, and this would really set the tone for the Braves organization that domestic abusers don’t belong here and this team is READY TO REPEAT.