I know, that was my first reaction, too. I was surprised to see Martin Prado‘s name this early, but I think we all kinda expected to see Jair Jurrjen’s name. It’s a little shocking to see Jurrjen’s name given that the Atlanta Braves just traded Derek Lowe, the Braves last three year’s opening day starter. No doubt Jurrjen’s had a rough second half, but didn’t he have one hell of a first half?
He was a clear favorite for Cy Young. … What happened? To be honest, I think the Braves were also shopping Jair as insurance in case a team didn’t take Lowe. They had to clear at least one spot in the rotation and it just so happened that Cleveland took the bait (hell, we even got a prospect!). Last year, that didn’t happen, and the Yankees took Javier Vazquez as the Braves’ plan B. This year, it worked out the way the Braves wanted. It just so happened that the rumor of Jurrjens came out after the Braves traded Lowe.
But, who’s to say they will stop now? They have top prospects waiting in the wings, most notably Randall Delgado and Julio Teheran. Both showed they are ready to go. The triple-A rotation was better than most major-league rotations. Only one thing stands in their way: Experience. They lack it, but they have shown tons of poise while up in the majors. Jurrjens was once a rookie who the Braves thrusted into the rotation in 2008, and he did alright: 13-10 with a 3.68 ERA.
Let’s recap the good for Jurrjens in 2011: 13 wins, 2.96 ERA, first career shutout, led NL with wins and ERA at the All-Star break, and earned his first All-Star selection.
The bad: Started second half with 0-1 with a 6.26 ERA in four starts before hitting the DL with his second stint. He gave up an incredible amount of fly balls and line drives that had skeptics saying his stats would never hold, and boy were they right. Seems when he’s pitching bad, he all of a sudden gets hurt.
Injuries will probably put a dagger in trade talks, most certainly lower the return value for the Braves, who were seeking Lorenzo Cain and/or Wil Myers from the Royals. Doubtful they will get both now or any of the two.
Mark Bowman’s report also states Martin Prado as a trade candidate.
Listen folks, calm down. Reading the comments and reviews on Prado, everyone is flipping out as if he’s our biggest star. Yes, he had a great year last year. I believe Jeff Francouer had a great year once, as well. Omar Infante had a great year for us, too, and he didn’t pan out well for the Marlins this year either. Both Prado and Infante played below their 2010 seasons with big drop offs.
Yes, Prado was adjusting to a new position, but did you ever think we would be saying his greatest aspect of 2011 was his defense? I sure didn’t. I like Prado, like him a lot as a person, but he’s not and should not be our future third baseman. He doesn’t hit like a corner infielder hits. He’s a super utility player, that’s about it guys. Every now and then, super utility players have great years. Most often than not, they are subpar.
If the Braves can trade him for a power hitting left fielder (possibly with Jurrjens?) then we would all calm down and applaud Frank Wren. It was the same with Infante. But doing so, would severely deplete our bench and would more than likely push Brooks Conrad into a larger role, given that he’s brought back.
What’s your prediction, who would the Braves bring in?