This isn’t the trade I had expected to make when the simulation started, but it’s hard to complain about the outcome too much. I traded Reddick to the Braves in exchange for reliever Mark Melancon.
Melancon, like Reddick, is under contract for one more season. He’s set to make $14 million in 2020, and his agent in the simulation requested a $500,000 bonus to waive his no-trade clause, which we split evenly with the Braves. So instead of paying Reddick $13 million for one year, we’re paying Melancon $14.25 million for one year.
I admit it’s not ideal to pay a non-closer that much money, but consider the situation. Key relievers Will Harris and Joe Smith are free agents, and retaining Harris may be expensive. Ultimately in our simulation, the White Sox signed him to a two-year, $22 million deal, which meant I would have had to top that.
That would mean paying Harris around $12 million a year for two years as opposed to what I’m paying Melancon. And with the inability to get rid of Reddick’s salary, adding that extra money for Harris would have been tough to do financially. Getting Melancon softens the blow of losing Harris.
Melancon had some injury troubles in 2017 and 2018 but was healthy in 2019 and served as Atlanta’s closer down the stretch. In reality, the Braves just signed Will Smith, so they weren’t going to need him in that role.
Melancon would slide in next to Ryan Pressly and help in the late innings to set up Roberto Osuna. I hoped to add a late-inning veteran arm to the bullpen, so Melancon fills that role and repurposes the payroll space that had been allocated to Reddick. It may not have been the ideal outcome when I started, but it’s better than wasting $13 million on a guy you don’t need.