Braves believe Pastornicky is ready
Braves general manager Frank Wren and his staff will likely be quite busy during next week’s Winter Meetings in Dallas. But instead of shopping to fill specific needs, they will likely spend much of their time listening to trade offers for Jair Jurrjens and Martin Prado.
The Braves entered this offseason looking to find a replacement for free agent shortstop Alex Gonzalez and exploring the possibility of adding a power-hitting outfielder. They believe they could acquire the kind of impact outfielder they are seeking via the significant returns they will request from any club interested in dealing for Jurrjens or Prado.
As for the shortstop position, it seems like the Braves would be content to enter Spring Training with Tyler Pastornicky projected to handle the role. They are currently looking to sign a veteran like Jack Wilson or Edgar Renteria to serve as a backup and provide insurance in the event that Pastornicky is not ready.
With Pastornicky and Andrelton Simmons in their system, the Braves are not looking to make a long-term commitment to a veteran shortstop. Simmons, who is considered one of the game’s top defensive shortstop prospects, might be ready to make the jump to the Majors after the All-Star break.
While it will certainly be interesting to see if the Braves do indeed enter the upcoming season with Pastornicky as their starting shortstop, next week’s attention will primarily center around Jurrjens and Prado.
Over the past month it has become even more apparent that Wren has told all interested teams that they will have to provide a significant return to get either Jurrjens or Prado.
The demand for Jurrjens will likely increase once C.J. Wilson and Mark Buehrle, this year’s top free-agent starting pitchers, decide where they will be pitching next year. The Rangers, Yankees, Marlins are among the teams that are expected to talk to the Braves about Jurrjens.