This continues my series where I evaluate the hypothetical Braves trades proposed in a recent article for The Athletic written by David O’Brien and Jim Bowden. If you missed the first part of this series, follow the link below.
Potential Braves Trade #2
Braves Get: David Bednar
Pirates Get: Kyle Muller, Tucker Davidson, and Drew Waters
Again, this is a trade that can’t happen today because Waters is now a member of the Royals organization after the Braves traded him, Andrew Hoffman, and C.J. Alexander for the 35th overall pick in Sunday’s MLB Draft. However, it’s worth evaluating because Waters can be replaced in this hypothetical deal by another one of the Braves’ top prospects.
Like Gregory Soto, Bednar will be participating in the All-Star festivities next week, but unlike Soto, Bednar has a track record of success, and his peripherals show his current production is actually sustainable.
After a rough start to his career with the Padres, Bednar was traded to the Pirates, where he’s seemed to figure things out. He posted a 2.23 ERA over 61 appearances (60.2 innings) last season and has backed it up this year with a 2.57 ERA and very similar 2.61 FIP in 42 innings. Bednar also has some promising statistics on his Baseball Savant page.
- 83rd percentile xwOBA
- 83rd percentile xERA
- 81st percentile xBA
- 94th percentile K%
- 94th percentile Whiff%
- 89th percentile Fastball Velocity
There are also a couple of worrisome metrics, though.
- 9th percentile Average Exit Velocity
- 8th percentile HardHit%
I like Bednar much more than I like Soto as a trade candidate. He keeps guys off base and strikes them out at a much higher clip. He also throws from the right side, which is what I think the Braves should be looking for at the deadline.
The proposed trade package is a lot. I like Davidson, and I really like Muller, but I could probably be alright with parting ways with both of them for an elite reliever with four more years of affordable control. The kicker would be who would replace Drew Waters in this trade. If it’s another top prospect, there’s no way I’m pulling the trigger. But if it is a lower level guy, I think this would be a fair trade for both the Braves and Pirates.
Photo: Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire