Atlanta Braves update: Jurrjens, Prado, Jones


The Braves would like to have another Jones in the lineup. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

The Atlanta Braves have been relatively quiet on the hot-stove front this year, with occasional rumors here and there on Jair Jurrjens and Martin Prado.

For all fans who were adamantly against trading either one, you just might get your wish. Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports Frank Wren said he feels both will be with the Braves at spring training. Rightfully so, he doesn’t want to say he doesn’t think they won’t be there. But, of course, he could have said nothing, too. You can dive into what he said all you want, I still think both will be traded at some point. Once the Braves set their sights on trading someone, eventually they will be. It’s just a matter of time.

Wren knows that Prado and Jurrjens are probably already a little upset by all the rumors. But to be fair, Wren has kept a solid stance all along saying “we’re not looking to trade them, teams are just showing interest in them.” Well, if that was all true Wren, then wouldn’t we be hearing more rumors on Tommy Hanson, Jason Heyward and Michael Bourn? I’m sure teams would be interested in them, too.

Apparently, the lopsided deal in the works with the Orioles for Adam Jones was just an offer from the Orioles, not the Braves. The Braves haven’t closed the door on Seth Smith, but they are waiting for Jones’ price to come down. It would make plenty of sense for the Braves to go into spring training with both. The Braves are trying to trade Jurrjens and Prado as if they are coming off great years. The reality is they are not. Both are at a low point right now. Jurrjens blew up in the second half and had tons of injuries … again. It’s a double smack in the face. Not only did he struggle, he was also hurt. How can you trade a top prospect for that kind of uncertainty? Prado had a down year, as well, and was hit with some nagging injuries, but none that serious. To his credit, he was also adjusting to a new position.

I don’t understand why the Royals haven’t jumped into the talks seriously yet. Royals GM Dayton Moore knows these guys and they have one of the top prospect-laden teams in the majors. If anyone can afford to throw in a few good prospects and could match up, it’s the Royals.

But back to my original point, it makes all the sense in the world for the Braves to keep Jurrjens and Prado on the team until we get to spring training. It’s only six weeks away! Teams are now in the stage where they want to see how their teams mesh, what’s missing, etc., during spring training before they want to pursue anyone who will take a pretty penny out of their farm. Players like Matt Garza could be traded before then because he’s a proven pitcher, and he had a decent year last year, as well. Players like Prado and Jurrjens are usually held until spring training. If they both come out playing well and a team has a need (injury), then the Braves will be able to pull more from that team when the time comes.

Speaking of having another Jones in our lineup … remember the days of back-to-back Joneses?

Andruw Jones re-signed with the Yankees. If you’re an avid Braves fan, he still holds a place in your heart. Terrance Moore, with MLB.com, wrote a nice article (for once) on Andruw. He wrote about how sad it is to see him as a fourth outfielder now. He has impressive numbers already (had them when he left the Braves), but he’s only 34. Players at that age are usually having their best years. But, personally, I feel he just wants to win at this point. He could get a starting gig with the Royals or other teams I’m sure, but he wouldn’t win. He’s in decent shape and still hits the ball a ton. He’ll never hit over .270 on the year as a full-time player but I bet he could hit 30 plus homers easy.

He deserves to be starting … It’s just a sad story now.

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  1. I can’t believe more teams don’t want Prado. He is a versatile player who can hit .300 with modest power (12-15 HRs). What team wouldn’t kill to have that production at second base? Perfect number two hitter in my eyes

  2. Where would they play Prado?  Their outfield is set, as are both 1B and 3B.  I guess Prado could be a backup, but if so, Moore will want to pay backup prices and the Braves won’t accept that.

    “(Andruw Jones) could get a starting gig with the Royals…”  Again, where?  Set outfield, remember, and their DH is Billy Butler.  Look, the Royals have a good offense and have for the last few years.  How does Jones get a slam dunk starting job with them?  How about doing some research before writing?

  3. On Andruw Jones — I believe he could probably DH full time and occasionally spell LF, but I think his body would take too much of a beating to play a full season as a left fielder. His struggles against RHP would also hurt him as a full-time starter, although he still hits for power against them. I’m of the belief that all of those years in CF took a toll on his body, but that may just be me. It’s sad either way.

    On Adam Jones — Call me crazy, but I’m just not a fan of this guy. He plays average defense and has below average on base skills (career .319 OBP). If it’s going to take a package similar to Jurrjens, Prado, and a top prospect to get Jones, then we should move on.

    I do think Wren is playing this the right way. Let Prado and Jurrjens rebound to potentially increase their value by the All Star break. Prado has the best chance to rebound to me — as long as he stays healthy. As you already pointed out, he dealt with moving to a new position. Combine that with the “freak” injury and new hitting coach and you can see how things stacked up against Prado last season. I fully expect him to rebound to the .290/.340/.430 range.

  4. Great point and I forgot about the Royals actually jumping in early. 

    Moore done a nice job over there but I think Prado would be a nice fit there. I’m surprised he wouldn’t jump at him for his veteran leadership as well. He would be a great role model for those kids.

  5. The Royals DID jump into the mix, very early in the process. The Braves asked for Wil Myers, and that’s when the Royals made a deal for Jonathan Sanchez instead. The reason they haven’t made a deal with the Braves is, as you stated, “Moore knows these guys.” He knows they aren’t as good as what the Braves are asking for in return.

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