Braves GM John Coppolella has made good trades and marginal trades in the past year. Getting outfielder Ender Inciarte, shortstop Dansby Swanson and pitcher Aaron for Shelby Miller was a master stroke.
Sending starter Alex Wood, top prospect Jose Peraza, closer Jim Johnson, reliever Luis Avilan and pitcher Bronson Arroyo to the Dodgers for 30-year old infield prospect Hector Olivera, injured reliever Paco Rodriguez, minor league reliever Zach Bird and the 35th pick in the competitive balance draft is still a head scratcher.
Please don’t argue that John Hart made the Olivera trade, all reports are that at the very least Coppolella was instrumental in all Hart’s trades.
What concerns me most about Coppolella is that he violated the number one rule in negotiating. Well actually, Coppolella violated the two rules of negotiating. You never tip your hand and you never limit your options.
When rumors were swirling that Freddie Freeman was on the trading block, Coppolella panicked and to placate Braves fans proclaimed the rumors were untrue and he would absolutely not trade Freddie Freeman. Coppolella said that repeatedly and in multiple interviews.
With that one statement Coppolella both tipped his hand and limited his options.
What happens now if a team comes forward with a great offer for Freeman? If Coppolella takes the offer he is a stinking liar, if he doesn’t take the offer, he is not taking the opportunity to make his team better. That is what you call Lose/Lose. The goal of a GM is to always put your team into Win/Win situations.
Coppolella is young and still learning. Some say John Hart and John Schuerholz are old and the game has passed them by. What do you think? How confident are you in Braves management at this point in time?