The Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins completed a trade on Saturday as Miami acquired left-handed reliever Hunter Cervenka for two prospects.
The message for the past two years from Braves general manager John Coppolella has been loud and clear. The Braves are willing to trade essentially anyone on their major league roster for minor league prospects. This philosophy rang true again on Saturday, as Atlanta paired up with division rival Miami to acquire two of Miami’s top 30 prospects in left-handed pitcher Michael Mader, and shortstop Anfernee Seymour.
The Braves scouting department and Coppolella deserve credit for once again turning a player who was out of affiliated baseball last year into young talent. Cervenka, had never pitched in the major leagues prior to this year and was signed out of Independent ball at the end of 2015. In speaking about Mader, Copollela reiterated the team’s philosophy by saying, “We are trying to get as many young left-hand pitching prospects as we can and just see what happens.”
Seymour ranked as Miami’s #8 prospect according to mlb.com, has batted .258 over his brief minor league career while collecting 76 stolen bases in 96 attempts. His speed was most enticing to the Braves as he runs a 60-yard dash in 6.14 seconds. The Braves GM remarked about Seymour’s speed in stating, “He’ll be the fastest runner in the whole Braves organization. We don’t have a lot of speed and we are trying to fill areas of need and he’s someone who has game-changing speed for us.”
Since taking over as general manager, Coppolella has been extremely active in his attempt to rebuild the Braves organization from the ground up. He has improved the Braves farm system from a bottom 10 ranking into what many experts consider a top three crop of minor league talent. His work in the past two weeks has been especially impressive by trading players who were essentially castaways from other organizations (Cervenka, Dario Alvarez, Lucas Harrell) into legitimate prospects.
While the rebuild for the Braves has been painful the past two years, Coppollela and his staff deserve credit for putting the foundation in place for future success. His constant drive for young pitching, coupled with recent moves for talented position players have the Braves in prime position for a future of long-term sustainable success.