Opposing teams sensing Braves will trade either Prado or Jurrjens
Braves general manager Frank Wren has said he does not need to make a significant trade this winter. But scouts and executives from other Major League clubs are still getting a sense either Jair Jurrjens or Martin Prado will be moved.
Jurrjens would provide the more significant return, especially after C.J. Wilson and Mark Buehrle are no longer free-agent options for pitching-hungry teams. Right now, some potential suitors believe the Braves are asking for too much in return for the right-handed pitcher.
With fewer options available for these clubs to fill their respective starting rotations, teams might be willing to provide more for Jurrjens.
There are a number of clubs concerned about Jurrjens’ durability. His right knee has prevented him from pitching down the stretch during both of the past two seasons. But he did provide himself and the Braves some confidence when he threw five strong innings while wearing a knee brace during an Instructional League game one day after this year’s regular season concluded.
By moving Jurrjens or Prado, the Braves would gain approximately $5 million worth of payroll flexibility. But Wren has continued to stress that he does not have to make a trade for payroll purposes.
When the Braves hired Scott Fletcher to serve as an on-site advance scout/assistant hitting coach, they revealed they would no longer employ an traditional advance scout who would travel to various cities to create reports on upcoming opponents. This raised some eyebrows considering they had just hired highly-regarded Bob Johnson to fill this role one year earlier.
The Braves are simply following the lead of a handful of other clubs who have already adopted this method of having their advance scout remain with their own Major League club and prepare for upcoming opponents via video.
But according to a National League scout, this decision was also seemingly influenced by the fact that Johnson’s traditional way of compiling reports did not provide manager Fredi Gonzalez what he was seeking in his advance reports.
Fortunately for the Braves, Johnson decided to stay with the organization to serve as a professional scout, who will monitor a handful of other organizations. The veteran scout remains one of the more respected individuals in his profession.
Good to hear J.J. Picollo is among the top candidates to become the Astros next general manager. Picollo spent seven years in the Braves player development department before following Royals general manager Dayton Moore to Kansas City.