I can't say I understand everyone naming J.R. Graham as untouchable. The Braves' contention window is open. The future is now. I've advocated patience in the past, but the current young core is at that perfect place where they're ready enough to win but cheap enough that the Braves can keep them all in the short term. In my opinion, the front office needs to fill the holes with the best possible players in order to make a run at a championship, and prospects at this point are expendable trade chips.
That doesn't mean you go crazy and burn the parts of the farm you can't sell, but it means that unless a prospect is elite, he needs to be on the table in any trade discussions. I like Graham plenty as a prospect, but he is not elite. I don't think anyone sees him becoming an ace, and you have to trade quality prospects to get quality players in return. Many of his supporters here are even pegging him as a future reliever, and there really is no such thing as a relief prospect. Given where the Braves are in their contention cycle, if they have the chance to trade several good players or prospects for one great player, they need to make the deal. Justin Upton is great. J.R. Graham is good. It's a no-brainer to me.
Originally Posted by robdizzle3
I understand Minors numbers were inflated, but watching most of his starts, I see alot of improvement and confidence.. He threw with nice location and hit his spots, so he can induce a poorly hit fly or a K.. I think he can play similar too that on a regular basis, but that's just me.
But when you watch, it's difficult to discern how much of the improvement is driven by luck and how much by skill. His K rate actually went down significantly during the second half of the season when his ERA was so much lower, and good luck played a big part in the improvement that led to the confidence. He falls into the same category as J.R. Graham, who I wrote about above. He's a good player. But if the Braves have a chance to trade a few good players for a great player...now is the time.