No other sport exemplifies the fluctuating value of assets like baseball, it's a stock market of buyers and sellers, everyone tying to "buy low" and "sell high". Teams must know when to cut assets loose and when to hold on to underperforming commodities.
In a bold stroke, Frank Wren sent the talented but slumping Yunel Escobar to Toronto for the consistent but overachieving Alex Gonzalez. On the surface there is plenty to like about the deal. The Braves offense should be much improved with the addition of Gonzalez and his 17 homers - although not a great hitter - he has been a difference maker this season; his defense has always been steady and he's a veteran that has playoff experience. Atlanta received solid value along with Gonzalez, they netted two mid-level prospects that could both become valuable players in the near-future.
On the other side, the Braves are most certainly dealing Escobar with his value at an all-time low and acquiring Gonzalez at a time when his value hasn't been higher. It's easy to forget that Yunel is just hitting his prime years and has shown plenty of offensive ability the last couple seasons. At his best he's a run-producing defensive dynamo with years of service in front of him.
The big question is how much better does Gonzalez make the Braves of 2010? This is a move with one intended goal, to help this team, in Bobby's last year, make a run deep into the playoffs. I think it's a good move, this team needs more offense and it desperately needed another hitter with power. I think we all realize that Alex Gonzalez probably isn't going to hit quite like he did in the first half - but he's a pretty good bet to hit at least a little better than Yunel Escobar was. If there is anything I've learned in my years of watching baseball, it's that when you have a chance to make a run - you make it. You don't plan for three years down the road if your team is a division leader at the All-Star break. Frank Wren put the 2010 Braves before the 2012 Braves - and we should all be thankful for that.