Braves still mulling options
While the Phillies have upgraded their bench with a couple acquisitions (Jim Thome and Ty Wigginton), the Marlins have spent the past couple weeks supposedly courting every top-tier athlete, including Aaron Rodgers and Sidney Crosby.
Seems like they’re trying to form one of those Dream Teams in Miami. Oh yeah. That’s right they already did that in that other sport.
Since we’re on the subject of LeBron James, I was dumfounded this morning as I watched ESPN’s First Take and actually heard them debate whether Jacksonville’s Maurice Jones-Drew crossed the line when he scored a touchdown and then mimicked the “powder toss” James performed back when he was playing games.
Yeah, I understand the hatred the city of Cleveland still has for James. But what happened to that once feared group of fans that inhabited that intimidating zone known as The Dawg Pound?
I know. You don’t care. You’re much more concerned about what might happen to Martin Prado and Jair Jurrjens.
Truthfully not much has changed regarding either of these players. Both are obviously drawing interest from a number of teams. But the Braves have made it known they will need to receive a significant return to trade either Prado or Jurrjens.
Since this past season concluded, I have often referred to Prado and Jurrjens as the Braves “most tradeable” veterans. In other words, Jason Heyward, Brian McCann, Dan Uggla and none of the young pitching prospects are going anywhere.
So if the Braves are going to at least explore the possibility of improving their roster via the trade market, Prado and Jurrjens are the players that arguably make sense.
But I would be among those who would argue that the Braves are not currently in a position where they can comfortably deal Jurrjens.
Tommy Hanson’s shoulder might never again bother him. But with the projected rotation already including Brandon Beachy and Mike Minor, the Braves can’t afford to trade Jurrjens and then deal with the consequences if Hanson’s shoulder proves to be a lingering problem.
Yeah, Kris Medlen’s presence provides some insurance in this department. But once again, you’d be taking a gamble here on Medlen, who has not started a game since he blew out his elbow in August of 2010.
As the Rockies, Royals and Tigers have proven, there are a number of teams that would love to add Prado’s versatility to their roster. At the same time, the Braves could certainly benefit from keeping him around for at least another season.
There’s no doubt that Chipper Jones could continue to benefit from the opportunity to get some regular rest. Having Prado around to play third base would allow manager Fredi Gonzalez to allow Jones to get a breather whenever necessary.
But with the right deal, it would be much easier for the Braves to find a versatile asset like Prado than it would be to find a starting pitcher that they could immediately place in their starting rotation with confidence.
As you likely saw from this weekend’s story, Jason Heyward is looking forward to entering the 2012 season feeling a little lighter. With the help of a better diet and workout program, he now weighs between 235-240 pounds. He weighed 258 pounds at the start of Spring Training.
Heyward certainly never looked overweight. But with his shoulders looking a little less bulky, he looks a little more athletic. More importantly, he’s excited about putting this past year behind him. Check the story for his thoughts about his shoulder and not playing an everyday role down the stretch.
Congrats to Joe Terdoslavich and Christian Bethancourt for being named to this year’s Arizona Fall League Top Prospects team. Check out the details by clicking here.
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