Soon reality set in as I saw that Atlanta would receive Olivera, Paco Rodriguez, Zachary Bird and the 34th pick in next year’s draft for Wood, Peraza and Jim Johnson. I thought it was a joke, a cruel horrendous joke. Are we really giving up a proven starter under team control through 2019 for a 30-year-old second/third baseman, who’s never played in the big leagues? I was fine with John Hart trading Jason Heyward for Shelby Miller, as I thought that was a great trade. I was shocked, but not mad, when the Braves traded fan favorite Craig Kimbrel for Matt Wisler, as I felt we got a young quality starter and rid ourselves of the awful Melvin Upton contract. I was fine with trading Justin Upton and Evan Gattis for prospects, as we’ve already seen that those were excellent trades. But this is a completely different story. I could wake up in the morning and the Braves have landed a top prospect from LA, but right now that doesn’t look feasible.
To make matters worse Olivera is currently hurt, nursing a hamstring injury and there was questions about his health during the offseason. Don’t get me wrong I think Olivera is a great hitter, but he may have just two or three good seasons left in him. So Hart is trading a proven starter for a few good seasons of Olivera? It just doesn’t make sense. I thought he was building around the pitching staff.
Olivera has seen just 74 plate appearances this season, hitting .348/.392/.493 with two home runs and seven RBIs in Rookie, Double-A and Triple-A. He batted .323/.407/.505 with 96 homers and 433 RBIs in 10 seasons in Cuba. While Cuba produces great players, it’s nothing compared to what the big leagues are like, so how can Atlanta pay such a high price for him? Like everything else with this trade, it just doesn’t make sense and I hate to keep repeating myself, but this move has got to me.
The Dodgers signed the right-handed hitter in March, paying him a six-year, $62.5 million deal. The Braves will not have to pay the $28 million signing bonus and will only owe him $32.5 million over five-years. This may be the only bright spot of the deal, but only if Olivera provides a few good seasons.
Wood has been a great mid-rotation starter in his first three seasons. The 24-year-old lefty has posted a 3.10 ERA and a 21-20 record in his first 368 2/3 innings of his career. His record would be much better, but he’s struggled to receive run support during his time in Atlanta.
The Braves may be thinking that all the young pitching they have gives them the flexibility to trade away Wood, but there’s one huge problem. None of those pitchers have proven that they’ll have long term success, and with the struggles of Julio Teheran makes this trade even more puzzling. Wood has been consistent and the Georgia alum has been a bright spot during a rebuilding season. He was also coming off his best start of the year.
This is a trade that could look brilliant in a few years, but right now this looks like the dumbest trade of the season. I guess you can’t win them all.