Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Highway Robbery

Referencing the Rafael Soriano/Horacio Ramirez heist, Baseball Prospectus's one-sentence description for the Braves in 2007 is "Three or four more deals with the Mariners and the Braves can start a new dynasty." That's a little how I feel about the news that the Falcons landed two second-round picks and moved up two spots in the Draft in return for Matt Schaub.

As an initial matter, Schaub was of little value to the Falcons. Yes, a good back-up is important, but the Falcons were going to lose him at the end of the year, anyway. Additionally, you don't want your back-up to be too good because he's never going to play unless the starter gets hurt and Michael Vick has been healthy for the past two seasons. Schaub was never really an option to start, given tbe amount of money that the Falcons are paying to Vick, and his value went down when the team fired Jim Mora and transitioned away from the West Coast offense. This move is better for Schaub and better for the Falcons. (If Schaub does better than Vick next year, that will not mean that the trade was a bad idea, but rather that paying Michael Vick the GNP of Ecuador was a bad idea.)

As for the picks, the Falcons really need them because they have made relatively few picks in the last several drafts and the team is top-heavy. It has a number of high-salary players, but not much behind them. Now, the Falcons will have three picks in the top 44 this year and they're deeper in terms of picks in 2008, as well. Additionally, moving up two spots virtually ensures that they'll get one of Levi Brown, Laron Landry, Gaines Adams, or Jammal Anderson and it puts them in better position to trade down if a player like Brady Quinn or Adrian Peterson slide down the board and a team up above them gets excited about nabbing them, in which case the Falcons would further stockpile picks.

In short, with smart drafting, the Falcons turned Matt Schaub into two cheap, productive starters. I'd say I was surprised, but we have to remember that this is the Texans we're dealing with.


Andrew said...

Three words stood out to me in your post: "with smart drafting..."

is it wrong of me to be scared?

Grandy said...


Fox said...

Great, great trade for the Falcons. Schaub has done nothing--for all we know, he could be the next Scott Mitchell or AJ Feeley. This is pretty much the opposite of the Giants' boneheaded Eli trade.

Of course, if they use the 1st rounder to take another WR, all bets are off. . .