photo by Samara Pearlstein
I heard the news that Ledezma had been traded to the Braves for Macay McBride while I was in the car with my dad, driving to Lowell to watch the Lowell Spinners play the Oneonta Tigers. We both kind of looked at the radio and said, “Wait, what?” I had to admit that I didn’t really know anything about McBride except for the fact that his nickname amongst the Braves was “Fatboy” (not kidding. That’s what Chipper Jones called him).
I’m just a little perplexed by this trade still. We’ve been pretty patient with Ledezma, it seems, because everyone appears to agree that the nebulous Potential is still there, he just has trouble accessing it consistently. So….. we’re willing to sit and wait for four seasons, but suddenly we decide we’ve had enough?
At the start of this season I was in the “he’s still young, and I still think he can put it all together and be pretty darn good” camp when it came to Ledezma. He’s had his ups and downs, but some of his streaks this season have been quite encouraging (although, to be even MORE encouraging, they shouldn’t be streaks at all, of course). And I think people forget how young he is because, like Bondo, he’s been up since ’03. He’s still only 26. It’s not as though he’s a washed-up 35 year old reliever. He’s a kid in his 20s who can still maybe start one day.
McBride, obviously, is also young (younger). I just don’t think he has the same kind of starting potential that Ledezma has/had. Plus, he’s one of those kids who grew up in Georgia (no doubt rooting for the Braves), went to school in Georgia, got drafted by the Braves, and has only ever played for the Braves. I wonder what a move to a team other than the Braves (and a team in the harsh American League, to boot) will do to his psyche.
I suppose what’s most bothering me is that I don’t feel like we’ve gotten back our investment in Ledezma with this trade. Like… really? That was his peak value? A lefty-specialist type no more consistent than he is, and with maybe less upside? If the Tigers didn’t think Ledezma was going to work out, maybe they should have moved him years ago, when he was, y’know, younger and more likely to net us more in a trade. So this “nope, sorry, suddenly decided this is the end of the line” business is weird and I don’t like it.
I think I read somewhere that McBride has options left (and can thus be sent to the minors if need be) while Ledezma does not have options, but this strikes me as an insufficient reason to send 4+ years’ worth of pitching cultivation packing.
Oh, and I guess the Tigers beat up on the Nats again today, but apparently anyone can do that now. No big.