Could Braves Trade Evan Gattis?

Atlanta Braves Blog

Could Evan Gattis be a trade chip?

The Atlanta Braves Evan Gattis has come on the scene and made a big splash in his rookie season.  Gattis already has 10 home runs (2nd on the team and tied for 4th in the NL) in just 121 plate appearances and is second on the Braves with 27 runs-batted-in, only one behind team leader, Justin Upton.

Gattis was dynamic in the just completed six game home stand as he blasted three home runs.  They  included a grand slam, a two-out ninth inning solo home run that tied the game, and an eighth inning two-run shot that converted a one run deficit into a lead.

So why would the Braves consider trading Evan Gattis?  Gattis plays catcher, left field and first base.  The Braves already have Brian McCann, Justin Upton and Freddie Freeman to play those positions.  So Gattis is a very nice spare part to have hanging around right now, but not a necessity.

Although the Braves currently lead the NL East, and are tracking toward an almost certain playoff appearance, there are still holes on the roster.  The Braves don’t have a true number one starter, and they’ve lost their top two left-handed relievers out of the bullpen for the season, Jonny Venters and Eric O’Flaherty.

In other words, the Braves are built to win a lot of regular season games, but to advance deep into the playoffs they will need pitching help.

McCann’s deal expires at the end of the season, and he will become a free agent if not resigned.  The Braves don’t want to trade Gattis and then lose McCann, that we can be reasonably assured.  But from what we are hearing, there is a good chance that the Braves want to keep McCann, and will find the money.  It helps their cause that McCann is a hometown guy, and would prefer to stay in Atlanta.

Along with Gattis, other assets the Braves could offer are outfielder Jordan Schafer, starter Paul Maholm, third baseman Chris Johnson, third baseman Juan Francisco and catcher Gerald Laird.  The Braves also have some players in the minors that would interest prospective trade partners.

The problem with trading a guy like Gattis is figuring out what he is worth.  There’s not really anything to compare him with in recent memory.  In reality, he’s probably worth what anyone is willing to pay.  That most likely is not a number one starter even up, not close.  But could Gattis be the wild card, a deal sweetener in a multi-player deal?

About Jim Hart

Jim has covered the Atlanta Braves since 2008 for local and national broadcast news organizations. He also appears regularly talking Braves baseball on WCCP-FM in Clemson, South Carolina, and the ESPN Radio affiliate, 1420 Sports in St. Augustine, Florida.

  • An American in Panama

    NO WAY! Maybe McCann or Francisco but not El Oso Blanco

    • Jim Hart

      Isn’t everyone available at the right price? The main challenge with Gattis would be assessing his value. If he keeps hitting like he has been, he’s a top 5 player in the league. But he doesn’t have a track record of doing that.

  • http://Yahoo Stephen

    Let McCann walk or use him as a trade piece near the all star break. I don’t think we should shell out 14-17 mill a year for a catcher when we have Gattis on the bench. I understand he is a 6 time all star and I love McCann as much as the next guy but we just can’t afford that and we could use that money to fill other holes

    • Jim Hart

      Wouldn’t it be difficult to trade a hometown guy who has been as successful and popular as McCann? Particularly if he is willing to give the Braves a home town discount?

    • http://none Jerry Greene

      McCann is proven winner. Gattis has not had enough ab to get a good scouting report. As a College coach and former pro scout, I can tell you that Gattis has holes and that he will not be McCann’s replacement. As a Braves fan who saw the first game at Atlanta Stadium vs. Pittsburgh in April of 1966, Gattis is an awesome feel good story that I hope continues forever. He seems like a genuine guy who has paid a big price to be here.

      • Jim Hart

        You know more than me about Gattis’ swing and scouting report, Jerry. McCann is a prove major over many years so I think the future decision will not be as easy as some folks realize. Gattis is a good guy, hope he turns about to be a star and wears the success well.

  • trenton fries

    I don’t understand how people say we don’t have the money to pay McCann we have plenty of money to pay him you are only talking a 5 to 6mill increase per year at best we are 10 mill under budget and we lose huddy’s contract and maholm’s contract at the end of the year that’s over 20 mill off the books. As for trading gattis that’s just the stupidest thing I’ve heard. That’s like the red sox trading Ruth you don’t do that kind of thing. Yes i think we make a reasonable effort at keeping a home town hero like McCann but don’t hand cuff the team. A far as no number one ace I think we have plenty of aces and with beachy coming back there is no reason to go get a pitcher that would cause more problems then help. Sounds to me like this writer is a nationals or Phillies fan and just wants us to do something stupid to mess up what could be one of the greatest braves team I’ve ever seen. GO BRAVES!!!

    • Jim Hart

      In pro sports everyone is potentially available for the right price and you have to consider all the options. That is what every successful GM does. Does that mean they are secretly working for another team? No, it means they are doing their due diligence.

      • brian

        have you lost your mind jimbo

  • Octo

    So this article must have been written to get comments. No sensible org would ever trade Gattis with those numbers and taking up literally no pay roll. Laird maybe… Schafer although I would hate that move, possible… El Oso Blanco… no bleeping way! Before we judge our pitching, lets see if Minor and Tehran can continues their hot ways before the alarms go off.

    • Jim Hart

      Was your comment written to get a response? ;) The great thing about sports is to consider all the reasonable options, isn’t it? The Mets traded R.A. Dickey right after he won the Cy Young Award so everyone is theoretically available.

      • Matt

        The Mets were not realistic contenders in the time that Dickey would be with the team. They were trying to restock their farm and build for the next competitive Mets team. That is why Dickey was traded. I understand what you were trying to say, but Gattis is a totally different situation and is therefore a poor comparison to the Dickey trade.

  • Jim Kloscak

    No way do you trade Gattis!! This guy can hit and is a good catcher. We will probably lose McCann after the season. I would trade Laird first.

  • StormRider

    McCann is great but not $13MM better than Gattis. If you want to run a business fine it’s all about ROI

  • semilost

    No way! A pinch hitter extraordinaire and McCann’s durability has gotten questionable.

  • Steve Rollins

    No way you trade Gattis. How about Dan Uggla? Maybe that will bring a left handed relief pitcher and a couple of prospects. Ramiro Pena can handle second.

  • Dan

    What do you mean no true number 1 starter? Huddy is in the top five active for total wins, and I bet his era over the time in atl is top five during that span as well. I think I heard his winning percentage is tops, too. He was Cy Young worthy last year. I think he will wind up in the Cy Young discussion by the end of this season. The Braves have great players like Tyler and Jannish and Beachy and the two lefty relievers not even on the roster and yet the ones that are on the roster all deserve to be starting. Every one of them. I do not know if they can mesh chemistry wise, but this is maybe the greatest team in years 1 through 25 (and beyond). I will hate to see any single one of them go. I think we need a reliever worse than a starter. BTW, worse call in modern baseball was the decision to start Medlin last year in playoffs. You always go with your vet (Huddy)in that situation. The team was nervous behind the rook.

  • Jared

    Are you for real? This is crazy. If McCann and Gattis are redundant, why would you jettison Gattis, who makes the league minimum, and keep McCann, who makes a lot more AND is due a free agent contract at the end of this year?

    The RA Dickey move is not at all comparable because Dickey is the one making the money and the Mets were looking for salary relief and prospects. Gattis IS salary relief from McCann.

    McCann is a popular player, yes, and that’s why I don’t think the Braves will trade him mid-season, but they also probably won’t try very hard to resign him.

    • Jim Hart

      McCann is a multi-year All-Star and Silver Slugger Award winner. He’s a proven, big-time player. He is also a proven character guy who has lived a stable life. All of those need to be considered when the decision is made.

  • Kenneth Barker

    Don’t get rid of Gattis or McCann with Beachy coming back you can put Medlen in the bullpen with the year he is having. I know Medlen has it but right now he needs to work on placing his breaking ball. I think Medlen still has not got all his strengh back yet you can tell that on the mound by his reaction. See what you can get for Francisco but don’t get rid of someone that with playing time that could hit 25 or more homers a year with his power. Gattis has a sweet swing.

  • http://bvu doran osborne

    Help Medlin he needs some relief, get him in the long relief as once was, then he will be alright.