The Atlanta Braves trade two minor leaguers for LHP Brian Matusz and the #76 pick

On Monday evening, the Atlanta Braves traded minor leaguers RHP Brandon Barker and LHP Trevor Belicek to the Baltimore Orioles for LHP Brian Matusz and Baltimore’s 2nd Round supplemental pick (#76 overall) in next month’s amateur draft.

The trade now gives the Braves  five of the first 80 picks in the draft. Atlanta owns selections #3, #40, #44, #76, and #80. With the extra pick, Atlanta also gains an additional $838,900 in draft slot value with which to sign players.

Barker was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 16th Round of the 2014 Amateur Draft. He made nine appearances at AA Mississippi in 2016, posting a 3-2 record with a 2.00 ERA. His peripherals showed him to be a largely adequate pitcher, who was neither overwhelming opponents nor being overwhelmed. Barker was a pitcher I was intrigued by, as he seemed to show some improvement this year. Interestingly, Barker played at Mercer University, which is also home to Kyle Lewis, who is rumored to be among the targets of the Braves in the 2016 draft.

Belicek split time between Rome (A ball) and Mississippi this year, posting a combined 2.86 ERA over 12 appearances. In 26 appearances over two seasons, Belicek managed a 2.43 ERA. Belicek was taken out of Texas A&M by the Braves in the 16th round of the 2015 Amateur Draft.

Both Barker and Belicek were project pitchers, but they appeared to be progressing steadily. This trade, however, is all about collecting the extra draft pick (and associated slot value). Matusz, in fact, is expected to be Designated For Assignment immediately.

Takeaway

This trade is primarily about acquiring an extra pick. However, given that the players we traded are decent prospects and are likely closer to MLB ready than anyone taken at #76, I imagine getting the additional $838K in slot value was a reason, as well. This allows the Atlanta Braves to select a player who may have salary demands that were out of their comfort range. Still, both pitchers had work to do, and seeing them make significant enough strides to jump others ahead of them seemed unlikely.

 

About Chris Jervis 69 Articles
Chris Jervis is an accountant in the Atlanta area. He's long had an interest in baseball, and, being a numbers nerd, loves analyzing player performances. He also likes to argue and is kind of an ass.

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