Could a Cleveland Indians and Atlanta Braves Trade Happen This Season?

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Bourn hasn’t done much positive in Cleveland this year. Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Why the Braves Would Say No

While Chris Johnson has been pretty terrible the last two years, he does still provide some value as a platoon player.  He is hitting .362 with a 142 wRC+ versus left-handed pitching in 2015, and for his career is a .316 hitter versus them (118 wRC+).  Bourn may be better defensively and better on the bases but he doesn’t have any one tool that’s really valuable now like Johnson has.

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Cameron Maybin may be having a career year offensively but he’s also healthy and entering the prime of his career (28 years old this season).  He was always a guy scouts loved so perhaps he is finally reaching that potential.  His contract while not cheap is very reasonable for what he’s providing and even in a rebuild he’s a guy the Braves would be smart to keep around for the next 2-3 years.

Michael Bourn and his -0.7 fWAR aren’t something any teams would want right now.  Sure this deal ultimately saves the Braves over $10M in 2017-2018 salaries it doesn’t help them in 2015 or 2016 in that department.  May just want to hold on to Johnson and see if a better salary dump option comes along.

There’s not much the Braves can dislike about Roberto Perez or a prospect in this deal, but again, they may just not feel it’s enough given Maybin potential. Perez could become a very good backup catcher but they also still have Bethancourt, so Perez in the end may only end up a backup in Atlanta as well.

Next: So Could Such a Deal Actually Happen?