Arbitration Eligibles: Atlanta Braves

The Braves are next in our arbitration-eligibles series.

A hamstring injury cut into Jurrjens' season, and that gets part of the blame for his worst season.  The Scott Boras client still heads to arbitration with 37 wins and a 3.52 ERA, putting Jered Weaver's $4.265MM reward in sight at the least.  Prado is coming off his best year and owns a .307 career average, so he'll top a million bucks.  Relievers O'Flaherty and Moylan also figure to be tendered contracts.

Outfielders Cabrera and Diaz were unexpectedly bad this year.  The Braves could save $6MM by non-tendering both, and that money could go toward a new left fielder.  Proctor spent most of his season at Triple A after May 2009 Tommy John surgery; he didn't fare well and will probably be cut.

57 Responses to Arbitration Eligibles: Atlanta Braves Leave a Reply

  1. bbxxj 5 years ago

    My thoughts:

    Moylan, O’Flaherty, and Prado are no-brainer locks to be tendered contracts and shouldn’t take any more than 6-7M to retain them all if that much.

    Cabrera should be nontendered as while he has value he isn’t worth a raise to 4+MM. Diaz on the other hand will be retained and should be retained. He can still hit lefties – which is why he is kept around anyways – and has proven to fit well as a bench role player. Now he may get tendered and recieve a modest raise on his 2.55MM or he may be nontendered and brought back around 2-3MM but either way I see him coming back. The idea of nontendering both of them so we can save up for a LFer like Crawford or Werth would be a good idea if we would actually go after them. Since we in all likelyhood will not anyways I don’t see the point.

    While I would love to see Jair back even in the 4-5MM range I think he remains our best and most available trade chip. It would not shock me at all to see Jair moved for the ‘big bat’ we aren’t going to pay for in FA and then bring back Vazquez to give our rotation some more depth and send Beachy to AAA where he could build up some stamina/experience and provide excellent depth.

    • BravesRed 5 years ago

      Thanks for typing all that out so I don’t gotta do it.

    • btwalker 5 years ago

      like your ideas….i really hate to see JJ go but i do realize in order to get the big bat we need he might have to go……..i have heard rasmus but is that the best option …he really hasnt proven anything yet and JJ is a proven major league pitcher probably #2 on most staffs maybe a strong #3 and is still very young……who do you see the braves going after in a trade as that big bat?

    • I want Diaz back regardless, but he needs to be non-tendered an offered a contract that is more in line with what he brings to the team.

    • tomymogo 5 years ago

      bbxxj, you have exactly my same thoughts up till the last paragraph……Vazquez, dude forget about that guy he is done, may even retire, his velocity has dropped below 90 and got massacred in New York this year. I think Jair will get and should get between 3.5 million and 4 million.

      You can’t really trade Jair considering Medlen is injured till September at least….. Maybe trade for Dan Uggla(something like Randall Delgado, and Stephen Marek or Mike Dunn), and move Prado to left field(he plays the outfield in the Venezuelan league), and sign Coco Crisp to play center field(kinda of the same role that Melky had, but this guy has talent). Or don’t trade anybody, just sign Crisp, and a couple of veteran pitchers, and play Crisp in left field vs righties(Mclouth in center), and Crisp in center vs lefties(Diaz in left field)

    • BravesFan4Ever 5 years ago

      Actually, trading both KK and JJ wouldn’t be a bad idea if it gets the Braves a little salary relief. This would probably mean, Minor and Beachy would be taking over their spots. The Braves would have somewhere around 19-20 milllion (Currently its around 15 miillion) to spend this off season. I wonder how much it would take to bring Carl Crawford to Atlanta.

  2. I like the melk-man and matt diaz, but they’re only good bench players for me. if they can use 6 mil on a RH power hitter, then let them walk.

  3. bbxxj 5 years ago

    1. Would nontendering Diaz and Melky really put the Braves over the top in the bidding for Crawford or Werth against the Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, Tigers, etc?

    2. If the answer to question one is no, then what other FA leftfielder would the Braves not be able to sign by keeping one or both of Diaz and/or Cabera’s salary on the payroll?

    • csg 5 years ago

      Melky is awful both offensively and defensively, he provides nothing to this team. He would have value as a CF in a small park with a good offensive team, I.E. the Yanks. According to fangraphs he’s worth a negative $3mil. There’s is zero reason for the Braves to tender him a contract. He’s got negative defensive values at every OF spot. Outside of ’09, he’s at replacement value.

      Diaz over his 5 year tenure with the braves does hold some value. He’s got pop off the bench and is a good 4th OF’r type/platoon player. His two bad seasons have been due to injuries.

  4. NEBravesfan33 5 years ago

    Why exactly would Jurrjens be worth 4-5 million? I think 3.5 million, tops for him. He had a fairly atrocious year.

    • dunnetg 5 years ago

      Having so many years of great starting pitching has altered the scale Braves’ fans measure pitching relative to some of the horrible performances other teams often get. Jurrjens had a lousy ERA, but he didn’t totally fall apart. His walk and strikeout rates are spot on with his previous two seasons – the only real difference this year was more hits and especially more homers. Since he started the season with the shoulder issue and followed with a hamstring strain, I think he just had a mediocre year with injury problems limiting his performance. I didn’t see anything from him to make me think he won’t be a good pitcher again next season.

      That said, if missing 15 starts means the Braves save a million in arbitration, I’m okay with that, too.

  5. NEBravesfan33 5 years ago

    Prado should get 2.8 million, at least. That’s what Kelly Johnson received in his first arb. eligible year.

  6. btwalker 5 years ago

    i agree JJ had an aweful year but a lot of that can be attributed to injury and also I think you have to look at the whole body of work over his very short young career. I think most GM realize his value and the braves know that……I really hate to see him go because i beleive he has the potential to grow into a bonafide #1……i mean just look..mid to low 90’s fastball……great command and very good developing change …and very good complimentary pitches…….all that being said i am still willing to see him go if it brings more offense to the table…….i just wonder who everyone thinks that will be

  7. aceman515 5 years ago

    i dont think our rotation needs helps. We have Hudson, Lowe, Hanson, Minor and JJ/Beachy.

    Im sure Beachy will be on our 25 man roster next year, as a starter or reliever…or possibly he could be a trade chip, i dont know. I like him so i hope he stays.

    Melky better be gone next year, hes had a few big hits and moments, but hes horrible on defense for the most part and lacks power.

    Diaz is a big team member, clubhouse kind of guy. He brings alot to the table, he can be effective, i think if he worked on his RHP hitting he could be our starter in LF.

  8. NEBravesfan33 5 years ago

    I am speaking more to his arbitration number, and less to his value in the trade market. I think that they are different, in a sense, no?

  9. Corey Italiano 5 years ago

    Cabrera has always been bad, I don’t know what anyone possibly expected from him.

  10. Non-tender Matty and Melky, and keep the rest. I wouldn’t mind having Diaz stick around but when you look at players that fit his mold, i.e. right-handed platoon partners, they just don’t make much money. In essence, he’s a more limited, right-handed Eric Hinske.

  11. If Medlen hadn’t gone down I think there’s a pretty good chance that JJ would have been traded this offseason. But with Medlen down I don’t think the Braves have the starting pitching depth to trade a front end starter like JJ. Plus, trading him after this year would be selling low.

    • I think there’s a pretty strong chance he gets traded regardless. We’ll have Hudson-Hanson-Lowe-Minor as locks for the rotation with Beachy able to fill in as a fifth starter if we need him to. Jurrjens will be receiving a pretty significant raise, and the Braves are a team on a restricted payroll. I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing him stick around, but the signs are pointing to him getting traded.

  12. Saito is technically arb eligible too… though with a 3.5mm salary, and arm troubles, I don’t see it being offered. But if he would come back for what Moylan would make, I’d rather have him than the Aussie. Honestly, I don’t see why Moylan would be offered arbitration… He might get 2+ million in an award, and he’s given up more homes and struck out less batters this year… with Venters, Dunn, Kimbrell and EOF in the Penn, I’d rather spend 2 million on someone with more upside than an aging ROOGY.

  13. the braves already have 71 million dollars committed to 10 players. Non-tendering matt diaz and melky cabrera are probably going to be a necessity, financially, just to stay in budget after arb raises. i think it is completely out of the realm of possibilities to think that the braves will be serious bidders on the top 2 offensive candidates.

    concerning jurrjens: i really cant see how it’ll be possible for the braves to get anything of value for jurrjens. selling low on kawakami might be a must for the braves this offseason, but selling low on jurrjens will be an atrocity.

    my proposal: keep jurrjens, o’flaherty, prado, and moylan. it will probably cost 11 mil. and trade kawakami for a salary dump (realistically, we’ll probably have to eat 1-2 mil. in salary)~ 71+11-5= 77 million for 13 players

    minimum guys: kimbrel, venters, freeman, heyward, conrad, dunn, beachy, minor, marek, matt young, barbaro canizares~ 77.5+4.4 million=81.9 million for 24 players

    last roster spot: magglio ordonez 2/14 million.

    rotation: hanson, hudson, lowe, jurrjens, minor/beachy
    lineup: prado, chipper, heyward, magglio, mccann, gonzalez, freeman, young/mclouth
    bullpen: venters, o’flaherty, beachy/minor, marek, moylan, dunn, kimbrel
    bench: young, barbaro, conrad, ross, infante

    • if the budget increases back to 95-96 million, the braves could get cody ross as well. putting him in a strict platoon with mclouth in center could benefit both parties. this would leave matt young out of the equation again. poor matt young.

  14. sorry…one more thing: there are a few players that the braves could look to trade this offseason, selling high instead of selling low:

    1. infante- having a career year and versatility is something that every team needs.
    2. alex g.- the ss market is incredibly weak and alex’s 25 hr potential could be very tempting.
    3. cristhian martinez- showcased as a starter and reliever, he pitched very well. his versatility could be used on another club (because it’s probably not going to be used on the braves).
    4. mike dunn- the braves have given lefties fits this year. if minor doesnt receive the 5th rotation spot, he could be in the pen as well. the braves could probably package dunn and alex g to get a legit outfielder.

    • Mike Minor will be in the rotation. His clock has already been started and he’s one of our best five arms. From a financial standpoint, it would be smarter to trade O’Flaherty since he’s first-year arb and Dunn is still a minimum guy. We won’t trade Gonzalez, he’s our starting SS and cheap.

      • infante can play shortstop. it’s not out of the realm of possibilities for the braves to downgrade the defense at short to get the upgrade at left and center that they need.

        • It’s much more possible that they trade Infante. He’s the one that just had a career year. Wren went after Gonzalez in part due to the fact that he has a cheap option for 2011. The plan has been for him to be our 2011 SS since the trade.

        • Guest 5 years ago

          downgrading defense at a prime infield spot isnt an option for a team that lives on groundball pitching.

    • Corey Italiano 5 years ago

      Mike Dunn walks way too many guys for my tastes.

  15. TwinsVet 5 years ago

    Questions to the Bravo Nation regarding Prado:

    1. What’s the long-term prognosis on his injury?
    2. How high is this kid’s ceiling? Did he put up his career year this year, or is there room for improvement yet?
    3. Where does he hit in the order next year? Does he become a leadoff man, like he started out, or return as a middle-of-the-order type, where he landed after Chipper went down?

    • 1. Done for the year, but the only thing that can be done for it is rest. He’ll be ready for Opening Day 2011, without a doubt.
      2. I think what he’s done so far is about what we can expect: around a .820 OPS and steady defense.
      3. He’s a top-half of the order hitter. He’ll likely be hitting first or second next year.

    • prado as an individual:
      prado is an extremely hard worker. he perfects his game in the venezuelan winter leagues every year, and for the past 2 years, he’s been completing p90x to increase his endurance and flexibility. he’s a “Praduct” of hard work and determination.

      concerning injury:
      he’ll be fine come spring, but i bet he doesnt do winter leagues this go around.

      during batting practice, prado launches homeruns longer than any other brave (including jason heyward), so look for prado to maintain his xb hitting potential. his plate discipline lacked in the past 2 months of the season, and i think his broken finger and the fact that he was moved from the leadoff to the 3 spot can be held equally responsible. i think he’ll hover around 13-20 homers for the next few years, and will probably maintain a .300/.360/.460 line. he’s only 26 and should be coming into his prime years.

      • TwinsVet 5 years ago

        Thanks much. I find him a very compelling player. He was a fantasy waiver pick-up this year, and I’m considering giving him a 5-year contract next year. He just seemed to come out of nowhere…

        • Dude Prado is nasty. He has a great work ethic and he’s really increased his agility, flexibilry, ect. In a full season I expect a .300+ BA, he might develop more power so around 15 HR, of course alot of XBH, and 200 hits.

        • His average/OBP is pretty much what he did in his minor league career, but his power as developed as he’s gotten older. He’s legit, don’t worry.

          • CowboyJames 5 years ago

            Another question Jake

            Do you think Prado is the kind of player who can reach the 2500 hit plateau? Dare I say 3000?

          • It’s far too early in his career to talk about things like that. Is he a good 2B? Yes, hell he’s a very good 2B, but what you’re talking about is HOF territory and has just as much to do with durability as it does greatness. Right now he’s 26 and for him to reach 2500 hits he’d have to match or exceed his 162 game average (172 hits) for 12 more years before he got there. Suggesting that any player can replicate his prime production until he’s 38 is a reach for anyone, and one I’m not willing to make.

  16. I was absolutely shocked when I heard the news about MP. To me, the Braves can’t win without him unless Heyward, Lee, and maybe Troy Glaus get on a tear. Big loss man.

  17. tomymogo 5 years ago

    The Braves have around 77 million committed for next year, counting all the raises(well guessing sort of).

    People leaving via FA:
    – Billy Wagner, Troy Glaus, Derek Lee, Melky Cabrera(non-tendered), Takashi Saito, Eric Hinske, Rick Ankiel, and Kyle Farnsworth…..

    People getting a call up:
    – Freddy Freeman, Craig Kimbrel, Mike Dunn, Stephen Marek, and maybe Mike Minor or Brandon Beachy.

    So they need 3-5 guys from free agency or trades, depending on what they want to do with their 5th starter situation. Assuming they’re payroll is at 90 million they have about 13 million to spend

    • tomymogo 5 years ago

      I think we all can agree the Braves need offense……Center field and left field are obviously the positions the Braves need to improve……. Unfortunately the options are extremely limited, what I would do is:

      – Sign Coco Crisp to 1 yr 3.5 million.
      – Sign Rich Harden to 1 yr 2 million(+3.5 million in incentives) or Jorge De Larosa
      – Sign Joaquin Benoit to 2 yrs 4.5 million
      – Sign Eric Hinske to 1 yr 1.5 million

      You’ve got yourself more speed, defense, Rich Harden as you’re occasional 5th starter, and a great healthy young bullpen. And you keep a good bench.

      • abraves10 5 years ago

        you are correct tose are the areas they need to improve and we all know Freddi Gonzalez will be the next manager but
        1st:Trade Kawakami to Mariners for Franklin Gutierrez and use the money to go after Werth and try to sign him if not sign Magglio
        2nd:I agree we need someone like Rich Harden or Jorge De Larosa as an insurance option with experience
        3rd:Sign Jesse Crain
        4th:Resign Hinske

        • tomymogo 5 years ago

          If you find a taker for Kawakami, no doubt you should trade him…..but he has 0000 trade value, that trade you mentioned would be very one sided in the Braves favor, a salary dump…….

          I would like the Braves to sign Magglio and Crisp, that would improve the offense, no doubt

          • abraves10 5 years ago

            The mariners will be looking for starting pitchin and they already have an ace and they need a number 2 or number 3 which kawakami could be with the Mariners.

          • Guest 5 years ago

            are they just looking for starting pitching or are they looking to IMPROVE the starting pitching? because that’s the argument the mariners will use. if i’m the mariners i would see no reason to give the braves anything for a pitcher that the braves themselves have absolutely no faith in. kawakami definitely has it in him to fill out the back of a rotation, but the braves have unfortunately put themselves in a position where they have zero leverage.

          • Since returning from the Minors and working with Chipper, McLouth has been on fire. It’s tough for me to say that he’s 100% back, but he’s shown enough to deserve another chance next year.

  18. inkstainedscribe 5 years ago

    Melky’s gone, without question. Wouldn’t surprise me if they non-tendered Diaz and tried to re-sign him for less money, possibly some incentive-laden major league deal. I think the Braves are stuck with McLouth, which probably means Ankiel will be cut loose as well, though he’d be a fine 4th OF. I have no idea if Hinske would command a lot more money on the FA market, but it would be nice to keep him.

    JJ’s injury has damaged his trade value, but if the Braves go to the postseason and he can pitch (effectively), the value will rebound in a hurry. In that case, he remains their best trade chip, because the only way you get rid of Kawakami is by swapping for another bad contract.

    A 2011 rotation of Hudson, Hanson, Lowe, and Minor is solid. Beachy or Martinez or a low-dollar veteran free agent could hold down the fifth spot in the rotation. Wren has suggested he’ll look for veteran help for the pen, but Kimbrel/Venters/Moylan/Dunn/O’F/Martinez is mighty fine.

    The priority is offense in the OF (either LF or CF) and more athleticism. The pitching should be fine.

  19. The_Porcupine 5 years ago

    Offer arbitration to the first and 2nd year players. Jettison the rest.

  20. Here’s a suggestion1.) Prado, O’Flaherty, and Moylan are all locks. Matt Diaz will be non-tendered, but Wren will probably try and bring him back for less. Melky and Ankiel should be non-tendered. 2.) Craig Kimbrel, Jonny Venters, Peter Moylan, Mike Dunn, Eric O’Flaherty, and sign a veteran arm should be the bullpen, very solid one at that. 3.) The rotation has been a subject of alot of talk. It should be Tim Hudson, Tommy Hanson, and Derek Lowe should be the rotation so far. I believe they will have Mike Minor in the rotation as well. So, now JJ. Trade him? I don’t know. I don’t think thy should either. With Medlen injured, the Braves don’t have much depth. In fact, I don’t even know if Medlen is that good. But JJ should be wearing a Braves uniform next year to rebuild his value, and if the Braves think Medlen is good enough to pitch as a starter, trade JJ, for obviously a very good outfielder. Kris Medlen/Brandon Beachy should hold down the 5th spot.4.) Now don’t ridicule me for what I’m about to say. I think they should trade Alex Gonzalez while his stock is very high. It’s not guaranteed that he will be as good next year as he was this year. He might hit well, but might not have the same production. I say trade Gonzalez for a good outfielder, and keep JJ. 5.) Use he remaining money to sign someone like Magglio OrdoƱez.If the SS market is really that thin, then the Braves should just let JJ rebuild his value and then trade him for an outfielder, and keep Alex Gonzalez. But still use the remaining money to sign someone like Maggs. PradoJ-HeyChipperMaggsMcCannGonzalezFreemanMcLouthjust putting something out there.

  21. braves5795 5 years ago

    Crawford and Uggla should be acquired, move uggla to 3rd, in lieu of chipper, turn crawford into a CF

  22. Trade kawakami, mclouth , and jj for felix hernandez

  23. jonathan180iq 5 years ago

    Heyward is not a #2 hitter. He should be in the 3 hole.

  24. bbxxj 5 years ago

    To me he didn’t look completely lost, he looked hurt. At the begining of the season he was clearly not over his injury from the preseason though he struggled through it to post acceptable numbers outside of that trouncing in SD. In late April he went down again after giving up 3ER in 1 IP against STL and was out until June 30.

    Once back from injury he posted a 3.02 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and a 2.61 K/BB ratio in 10 starts until something happened again in Colorado. Since that game in Colorado he posed a 7.09 ERA, 1.90 WHIP, and a 1.85 K/BB ratio. His fastball went from hitting 94 with life to a straightish 88-90 and his change became faster with less deception. I coudn’t tell much about his slider but it seemed to not go where he wanted it. My suspicions of injury were confirmed by his recent and permanent shut down.

    If anything its his health that will hurt Jurrjens’ trade value not his ability. When he is full strength Jurrjens is very very good and if a team thinks he is and can stay healthy they will pay a nice price for him.

  25. CowboyJames 5 years ago

    He was surely pitching hurt. And his value should be obvious if you watch the braves. The guy can pitch out of trouble. A flair, a texas leaguer, and an IF single to start the inning….he will pitch out of with 1 or no runs scoring.

  26. Guest 5 years ago

    Actually, it may not be a bad idea trading both KK and JJ. That would leave the Braves with Beachy and Minor to fill those roles, as well as give them around 19-20 million to spend this off season. I wonder how much it would take to get Crawford.

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