Braves Add Closer Shane Greene At A Nice Price
Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos entered this week knowing the Braves needed to rebuild their bullpen. He managed to do so without trading away any of the organization's Top 10 Prospects. On the heels of acquiring Chris Martin and Mark Melancon, Atlanta finished its shopping spree by adding Tigers closer Shane Greene.
Joey Wentz, LHP
When the Braves drafted Joey Wentz in 2016, they were acquiring a lefty with present velocity and projection for more because of his frame. But the 94-95 he’d flash with rest in high school has never really materialized in pro ball. He’ll now sit 92-93 mph on his good days and 88-91 on his lesser ones. His sometimes plus changeup doesn’t play that way when his velocity is down. Wentz ranked 16th on the Braves Midseason Top 30 Prospects list. His command can be above-average at times, but it’s not yet consistent. He does generally throw strikes, and when everything clicks, he can show the ability to turn over the lineup a couple of times. But the Tigers will have to hope his current inconsistency is a product of youth so he can achieve his potential as a future No. 4 or 5 starter.
Travis Demeritte, OF
Coming into the season, Demeritte wasn’t really a prospect. He’d seemingly stagnated at Double-A, showing power, but little feel to hit. That was evidenced by the fact that the Braves left him unprotected in back-to-back years for the Rule 5 draft and he went unpicked. But this year, Demeritte has kept the power while hitting for significantly higher average in his first taste of Triple-A. The Braves have largely given up on the idea of Demeritte playing in the infield, but chances for a lengthy big league career would be significantly boosted by being able to be at least a fill-in at second and third in addition to playing respectable defense in either corner outfield spot. Demeritte has legitimate power potential and he is still only 24-years-old, which is why he moved back up to 24th on the Braves Midseason Top 30 Prospects list. Going to Detroit gives him a chance to potentially earn some MLB bats to prove his improvement is real. That wasn’t going to happen for an Atlanta club contending for a playoff berth, but Detroit can be more able to give him a shot.
Shane Greene, RHP
Greene becomes the biggest acquisition in Atlanta’s complete renovation of its bullpen––he’s joined by Chris Martin and Mark Melancon in coming to SunTrust Park. Greene is in the midst of an exceptionally effective season with the Tigers as he’s managed to baffle hitters with his fastball/cutter combination. Greene’s 1.18 ERA is probably better than he’s actually pitched, as he’s posted an exceptional strand rate (85 percent) and an infinitesimally low .178 average on balls in play. But Greene has upped his strikeout rate this year (10.2 K/9) and has been both durable and reliable in two years as the Tigers closer. Greene is on a one-year, $4 million deal this year and will be arbitration eligible this offseason. He will be a free agent after the 2020 season.