Quick hits from Day 3
As Wednesday nears its end during this year’s Winter Meetings, there is still reason to wonder where Jair Jurrjens and Martin Prado might be playing this year. The Rockies are interested in both and could prove to be a fit. But it does not seem like a trade is imminent.
Frank Wren and Fredi Gonzalez both addressed media members this afternoon. Wren once again stressed that he believes he already has the foundation of a club that can gain a playoff berth last year. Gonzalez spent time discussing a variety of topics, including his reluctance to leave the house during the weeks following this season.
These stories can be found on MLB.com and braves. com…Below are couple tidbits that did not appear in those stories.
Wren said he will not talk to Michael Bourn about a potential contract extension before entering the arbitration process in January. He also said that he has no intention to push Chipper Jones toward making a decision about playing beyond the 2012 season.
Jones has a $9 million option for the 2013 season that would vest if he plays 123 games this upcoming season. The veteran third baseman, who will turn 40 in April, played 126 games this past season and seemed to be at his best when given a chance to play with regular rest.
Gonzalez said he plans to continue giving Jones regular breaks this season.
“We’ll probably cut him back a little more,” Gonzalez said. “Having (Martin) Prado, that luxury to move him to third anytime we needed to give a rest to Chipper, it’s a big plus for us.”
This certainly doesn’t mean the Braves won’t trade Prado. Gonzalez was simply pointing out that Prado is the kind of player that gives him the confidence to rest Jones on a regular basis.
Nate McLouth has signed a one-year, $1.75 million deal to serve as the Pirates fourth outfielder. He talked to reporters today and took time to reflect on his time with the Braves:
“It was really difficult. Other than certain family tragedies, it was the most difficult time in my life. To struggle performance-wise as much as I did and to have the injuries that I did was tough. I really am looking foward to getting back to a place where I played (most of) my career, where I had a little success and really felt comfortable. The past couple of years were very, very difficult.”
“If I could put my finger on it, I’d have fixed it a lot sooner. I dug myself into a hole, kept digging deeper and searching for answers and ways out. I only found myself getting in deeper. It’s tough to find better people to work with than the Braves. I have nothing but good things to say about everybody there. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen for me there. I could never get the right feel. I could never get in a groove.”