Joe Musgrove Jersey

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Please remember that all of these Atlanta Braves deals, and these mentioned concerning other teams, are simulations, not actual trades or signings.

In Thursday’s post, I noted that the simulated deal sending Johan Camargo to the Orioles left Charlie Culberson as the Atlanta Braves only utility player. On Friday, I filled that void by signing Brock Holt to a two-year, $5M deal.

The multi-talented Holt started his professional career as a Pirate but spent his whole Major League career as the Swiss Army Knife on the Boston Red Sox. Over the last two seasons in Boston, Holt batted .286/.366/.407/.772, with a .336 wOBA and 106 wRC+ while playing everywhere except pitcher and catcher.

I spent a good deal of the remainder of the day unsuccessfully trying to negotiate with the Mariners for Mitch Haniger.

Their GM never said what he wanted other than good prospects; after several offers said they were out. I think he was waiting for me to offer a whole lot more than I feel Haniger is worth so he could get a win. I had more success in landing a starter.

Atlanta Braves make a simulated pitch for Joe
After contacting the Rockies about German Marquez and Jon Gray, and being told they were not available, I entered a long discussion with the Pirates about simulated deals for Gregory Polanco and Joe Musgrove.

RELATED STORY:In the beginning
I had a deal pending to move Ender Inciarte and saw Polanco as a replacement, but the Inciarte deal disappeared when the other team moved on. After a protected negotiation – really long – I completed the simulated acquisition of Musgrove in exchange for Kyle Wright, Touki Toussaint, Greyson Jenista, and Alex Jackson.

Some asked on Twitter what players I saw as being worth an apparent over-pay: Musgrove was on that list.

Last season the Atlanta Braves unsuccessfully attempted to land Matthew Boyd. Musgrove was as good or better than Boyd (depending on your favorite stat) while pitching on a team stumbling from one major problem to another and pitching to a talented but inexperienced catcher.

Mike Soroka 21 4.8 4.0 3.24 3.4 2.68 14 41 142 .280 79.9% 51.2% 11.1%
Joe Musgrove 26 4.0 3.3 3.59 3.77 4.44 21 39 157 .299 63.2% 44.5% 11.7%
Matt Boyd 28 3.7 3.3 3.93 4.35 4.56 39 50 238 .307 74.4% 35.6% 18.2%
(Statistics from Fangraphs and Baseball Prospectus)
The price for Musgrove hurt. No one loves Kyle Wright more than I, but Musgrove’s under team control for two years and relatively inexpensive at $3.4M. Most importantly, he proved he can pitch at the highest level, take the ball every five days, and give his team a chance to win.

Having sent a series or relief pitchers and starters away, I began filling the void by acquiring RHRP Justin Shafer from Toronto in a simulated deal for cash considerations. Shafer threw 39-1/3 inning for Toronto this year, striking out 39 and pitching to a 3.86 ERA. He’ll begin the season at Gwinnett.

That’s a wrap
The simulated acquisitions over the last two days make the roster stronger and the rotation better. Holt has a history of providing sound defense wherever he plays, and Musgrove fits nicely in the rotation.

Musgrove should enjoy greater success with Roberto Perez behind the plate and our defense behind him, not to mention a clubhouse atmosphere that plays together instead of fighting each other.

I’ve arranged for Josh Donaldson and Musgrove to have a pillow fight and settle any remaining issues between them.

The simulation continues until 10:00 eastern time tonight; I have two deals in the works that will change the look of the roster if I’m able to complete them.

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