The Atlanta Braves are not the only team in MLB making trades. Jerry Dipoto, the General Manager of the Seattle Mariners, has been very active as well. Without going into details of the Mariners trades this off season, I will keep this primarily focused on the Braves. The Braves traded away outfielder Mallex Smith and pitcher Shae Smith for pitching prospects Luis Gohara and Thomas Burrows.
Mallex Smith became the Braves starting center fielder in 2016 until a broken thumb put him on the disabled list for months. Ender Inciatre took over that position and his plays in the outfield amazed the fans in Atlanta and throughout baseball. The Braves have found their new starting center fielder and signed Inciatre to a new 5 year contract this offseason. Shae Simmons pitched in the Braves bullpen in 2016. He enjoyed moderate success in Atlanta however he was not a for sure pitcher to make the final 40 man roster.
The Braves are getting Luis Gohara, the number 5 prospect in the Mariners organization according to MLB Pipeline.Thomas Burrow is the number 25 prospect. Both pitchers are currently in class A ball. There has already been some grumbling with Braves fans. Smith has a dynamic personality and he will be missed. Looking realistically the Braves had 4 outfielders for 3 spots. Matt Kemp, Ender Inciatre, and Nick Markakis have earned their spots. Mallex Smith was going to start in the minors and he could have been nice in the majors in Atlanta, but he probably would have been traded at some point in the 2017 season. The same could be said for Shae Smith as well. John Hart and John Coppollo are building the Braves farm system to one of the best in MLB. It is hard for Braves fans to see the big picture at times. When Andrelton Simmons was traded for Dansby Swanson and Ender Inciatre the Braves fans were outraged. Here is a short statement for Braves fans,”get over it.” Let’s look beyond 2017 and personal feelings. Let’s continue to be excited for many seasons to come. GO BRAVES!!!!!