Wren Talks Prado, Chipper, Bourn

The Braves narrowly missed the playoffs last week, losing to the Phillies in the final game of the regular season as the Cardinals surged past them into the Division Series. Atlanta GM Frank Wren looked ahead to the offseason in a Q&A with reporters, including Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The details:

  • There’s a strong likelihood that Martin Prado will return to left field in 2012. The Braves haven’t discussed moving Prado to another position.
  • The Braves know that Chipper Jones’ knee won’t permit him to play seven days in a row, so they’ll be on the lookout for utility help this offseason. They have a $1.5MM option for Eric Hinske in 2012 ($100K buyout).
  • Wren isn’t looking for bullpen depth, since he was pleased with the late-season results from Cristhian Martinez and Anthony Varvaro.
  • The Braves aren’t certain whether Kris Medlen will start or relieve in 2012.
  • Wren is open to the idea of extending Michael Bourn. They “like the infusion of speed” and could discuss a mutliyear deal instead of going through the arbitration process. Bourn, who is scheduled to hit free agency after 2012, will earn a raise from $4.4MM next year.

54 Responses to Wren Talks Prado, Chipper, Bourn Leave a Reply

  1. Chippers_Knees 4 years ago

    They really have no choice but to keep Bourn; They simply have no other options in the system. I’d like them to trade for Moustakas, though. The Royals and Braves are almost perfect complements to each other in terms of players they can afford to let go of and needs. The Royals need starting pitchers (Jurrjens, Minor) and the Braves need a 3B to prop Chipper up and to eventually replace him (Moustakas).

    • riso30 4 years ago

      This is the funniest thing I have heard in a long time.  Who would you want to give up for Moustakas?  He is the Royals current third baseman.  They don’t have any other 3B prospects in their system, and I don’t think they would want to get rid of him for Jurrjens and/or Minor, let alone any other aging pitcher you have on your roster.  If you want some of their PROSPECTS, that is what the Royals are willing to shop.  Oh yeah, and Melky Cabrera who would be under team control next year as well, and had a breakout season with over 200 hits, 87 RBI and over 40 doubles.  Yeah, that Melky Cabrera.  (Frenchy had a pretty good season too. Thanks.)

      • BaseballLogic_Braves 4 years ago

        I agree with Chippers_Knees. They can go out and find someone else, cause i’m almost expecting Moustakas to be in a Braves uniform in the near future.

        • riso30 4 years ago

          If Dayton Moore wants Braves’ pitchers he isn’t going to give up Mike Moustakas or any of the current players who are expected to be stars.  He has already said as much.  The infield of Moustakas, Escobar, Giavotella, Hosmer and Sal Perez is going to be together for many years to come. I think it is the Braves that will have to look elsewhere for a third baseman.  Dayton Moore may have a crush on former Braves players that he signed, but I think he got it out of his system after finally getting his man. (Frenchy)

          I see the Royals giving up Myers, Cain, Colon, etc, but none of those help the Braves.  The Royals will try to make a push for some “proven” veteran pitchers, not anyone the Braves throw out there every 5th day.

      • Any other aging pitcher? As if we don’t have young pitchers available and in surplus? Moustakas is a huge prospect and I’m pretty sure even Frank Wren is aware that would cost at least one of his big four pitching prospects and some mid level guys. KC is still a .500 team and you know why? The pitching quality is near non existent. If Moore was wise, he would see his surplus of offense and use it to get himself a solid SP or two and we have 6 or 7 that are ready to be plugged into a rotation that aren’t “aging” anytime soon.

      • John DiRienzo 4 years ago

        you sound like a tool. if KC made a trade with ATL for some arms, considering ATL has a billion, maybe they wouldn’t still be dwelling in the basement of one of (if not the) worst divisions in baseball. i don’t agree with the guy above you regarding Jurrjens/Minor, but perhaps you’ve never heard of Delgado, Teheran, Vizcaino, or others? perhaps you don’t watch baseball. after all, you’re a KC fan, right?

        edit: im still laughing that you’re bragging about bottomfeeding off ATL’s scraps

    • Ya Mom 4 years ago

      YOU ARE F**KING INSANE!! Trading Jurrjens? LOWES GOTTA GO!!! 

      • bringbackandruw 4 years ago

        And exactly who’s going to take on Lowe’s contract? Jurrjens is expendable and if im not mistaken hes a Boras client which means hes going to get real expensive really soon and we all know Liberty Media doesnt like spending if they dont have too. Trade him now while his value is still high (if he wasn’t injured it would be even higher). We still have Hudson, Hanson, Beachy, with the other 2 spots filled with any combination of Minor/Teheran/Delgado/maybe even Medlen. So yes trade Jurrjens

      • Matt Talbert 4 years ago

        They have Mike Montgomery and John Lamb outside of that….eh not much.  They need major league ready talent.  About 2 good starters would do them wonders.  Maybe they trade for Shields?  Maybe shock everyone and go after CJ Wilson?

  2. the braves need to sign bourn to say a 3 or 4 year deal worth roughly 23 million would be fair.  need to trade prado. he was worse than heyward was this year despite some clutch hits (few and far inbetween if you watched every game) 

    • Jeff 4 years ago

      Bourn isn’t signing for just $6mil.  4/32 if we’re lucky.

      As for Prado, he had a bad year.  Could be Parrish’s fault.

      Personally, I’d be open to platooning Prado/Heyward next year unless one of them breaks out.

  3. Pete 4 years ago

    Bourn is one of the most under-rated players in the game: awesome in CF and on the basepaths, he’s a totally old school leadoff man in the best way (not in the worst way, that would be Juan Pierre)

  4. RiverKKiller999 4 years ago

    Lock Bourn up for another 3 or 4 years at least. Get it doen Wren. Let’s see what he can do for a full season with the Braves.

    • johnsilver 4 years ago

      Speed is generally the 1st thing to go and Bourn really brings nothing else to the table. He has -0- power, not a good eye at the plate and other than this year, had an awful obp. this is pretty much a BJ Upton without potential at age 28.

      Wren is a smart GM and may go Crisp salary route, who K’s far less and is same “game” area other wise, though crisp may be a better defender with Bourn slightly more speed and 2/10-12m or so. Anything more is over pay for a Omar Moreno type player.

      • RiverKKiller999 4 years ago

        Horrible OBP? It was .349 which isn’t horrible. He’ll be 32 or 33 when his contract expires. His speed isn’t going to deteriorate at 33 years old. BJ Upton? Upton has pop in his bat. Last I checked his OBP was much worse than Bourn’s the last 3 years. .331, .322, .313.

        Bourn also rounds up more hits than BJ Upton and Coco Crips. No one wants Crisp.

        • johnsilver 4 years ago

          Hmmm.. No one wants Crisp? he is the most desirable FA CF on the market this off season. if Wren wants Bourn, he may wait to see what crisp gets and then knock a few million from that, after all, Crisp plays a GG caliber CF and is king of the small ball, bunt/hit and run etc and as mentioned.. does not strike out 1 in 3-4 AB’s which is not a trait one wants from a lead off hitter with -0- power. His problem last 2 seasons has been staying healthy and it will hurt him, but no one want him is a flat out joke.

          As for Upton.. Better check his stats if don’t ever catch a Rays game.. The man has been living off of his “potential” tag for years and has been a K machine only since 2007.

          • RiverKKiller999 4 years ago

            Not want hims as in “BRAVES FANS NOT WANTING HIM”….

          • “No one wants Crisp? he is the most desirable FA CF on the market this off season.”
            That’s like saying Andruw Jones is the best outfielder from Curacao.

        • roberty 4 years ago

          I really like Crisp but he always gets hurt. 

        • Upton couldnt hit a rock this year yet alone the wind.

      • sunking1056 4 years ago

        Hasn’t it been shown that players with Bourn’s type of skillset actually age much better than sluggers generally?

      • roberty 4 years ago

        Speed deteriorates faster for larger players, but Bourn is built like Kenny Lofton or Brett Buttler, who both aged fairly well. 

  5. inkstainedscribe 4 years ago

    The position swaps the Braves need to consider (for 2013 if not 2012) is Prado back to 2B and Uggla to 3B (or LF and acquire another 3B). The Braves infielders have about as much mobility as statues. Sure, they don’t make errors, but they don’t get to anything, either. That’s a problem when your three top innings eaters (Hudson, Lowe, Jurrjens)
    pitch to contact. We can only hope that Pastornicky has Furcal’s range. Otherwise, the Braves again will give up a lot of hits that would be outs for other teams.

  6. Kent Kimes 4 years ago

    I’m not sure I get the Hinkse reference in there – I know he played 3B as a rookie, but he’s played OF and 1B for Bravos.

    • TimotheusATL 4 years ago

      If Chipper doesn’t play, you put Hinske in LF and Prado at 3B.

  7. The Braves have a lot of nice pieces that just don’t fit together to form a complete team.  If Wren is serious about contending next year he’s got some wheeling and dealing to do.  I think its more likely that the team waits another year until Lowe and Chipper come off the books.     

  8. Rick Garcia 4 years ago

    Braves should definitely lock up Bourn. 

    I think Wren is a great GM. He may not always win but he makes many smart moves. 

  9. craigkimbrelfan 4 years ago

    It’s hard for me to devote an entire season to following this team from here on out, as long as Fredi Gonzalez is at the helm.  The meltdown was ultimately mismanagement related and it happened all year long.  It’s just when they were winning, it was played down.  Actually, this is the first day since the collapse that I’ve had the stomach to read baseball related material.  That was tough.

  10. klaus7367 4 years ago

    Nothing in Wren’s comments indicated there is a strong likelihood that Prado returns to LF.  In fact he was not adamant about anything apart from saying pen looks good.

    Prado could be there but he said they are weeks away from making those kind of decisions.

    • Mauck98 4 years ago

      Bourn is considered by many the beat defensive CF in all of baseball, and had the last 2 gold gloves to prove it. He is a rally all by himself. He also takes away focus from the starter. He was 2nd in the NL in hits lead all of baseball in steals, but people say he is coco crisp. I think a 3 year extension buying out his arbitration year will do for both sides.

      My guess is 4/32.
      2012-6.5 million
      2013-7.5 million
      2014-8.5 million
      2015-9.5 million

      • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

        “people say he is coco crisp”

        A: 211 games .269/.324/.400 .333 wOBA 110 wRC+
        B: 300 games .281/.345/.368 .328 wOBA 105 wRC+

        A: 1759 innings +6 rPM/150 +6 DRS/150 +0.8 UZR/150
        B: 2548 innings +7 rPM/150 +8 DRS/150 +6.6 UZR/150

  11. klaus7367 4 years ago

    Wren is not a great GM he is an avg GM who is now on the hot seat.  Two late season fades and a team that excels at being streaky with no leadership or fire.  Hmmm.

    He no longer can point to JS’s late career trades as a reason for the Braves struggles.  This is Wren’s team and he needs to do some major overhauls.

    He and Fredi could get broomed by the end of 2012 if they repeat 2011.

    BTW – Ticket sales are at a 4 year low and yet another year of a under performing low RBI OF is not going to cut it.  Prado needs to move to 3B or a utlility INF role, Heyward needs to get fixed or traded quick.  If he gets the Frenchie taint there goes his trade value.  Wren won’t make that same mistake twice.

    They need a 110 RBI guy in LF and a SS who can hit throughout the season.

    So at a min he needs a new LF and SS (Pastorsky is an error machine who can hit) and possibly a RF to give Heyward some competition.

  12. Guest 4 years ago

    Wren definitely did not indicate a “strong likelihood” that Prado was returning to Left Field.

    “I think the likelihood (is good). We’re still a couple weeks away from
    having our real planning meeting where we look exactly what we think the
    club will look like.”

    In other words, Wren very politically said they haven’t talked about it, yet.  I have to think it’s extraordinarily unlikely that they don’t discuss bringing in a guy with more power to play LF, if for no other reason than due diligence.  There’s only two positions they can upgrade: LF and SS.  They’re looking for a super-utility guy.  If they find an upgrade to left, that gives them a super utility player in Prado that’s going to play most days at one of many positions.  Just rotate him around and let him play 3B the 2 or three games a week that Chipper can’t play.

  13. Saw him on MLB network today and it sparked an idea, I think the Braves are going to re-acquire Mark DeRosa. 

  14. kast2L 4 years ago

    how do braves fans feel on if the indians buying out Sizemore’s contract and putting him in LF? 98% chance that won’t happen but yea…

  15. BraveNewWorld 4 years ago

    So basically it’s the same team next year minus Lowe with Medlen replacing him.  I like it!

  16. Who said anything about a prospect? I say you take a box of rocks for him and you convince a team pay as much of his salary as they can muster. Probably, 5 mil at the max.

    Sign Willingham to play LF. Prado goes to ‘super utility’. Prado could play 120 games between giving Chipper days off (and he will miss some time along the way) and playing against LHP for Heyward and occasionally Freeman. Maybe trade for Quentin instead of signing Willingham. Not too many other corner OFers out there. JJ could be used as trade bait, although I think his injury history may cause his value to drop.

    I love Medlen in the rotation. Hudson, Hanson, Medlen, Beachy then pick from the other 3. Not too many teams could trade 2/5 of their rotation and still have 7 quality starters.

  17. Unless Bourn has some serious demands, chances are he’s getting locked up long term which I think most Braves fans completely support.

    Personally I would like to see Atlanta join the race after Reyes to hit behind Bourn and go after an outfielder(right-handed) that can play both corners well. Michael Cuddyer and Grady Sizemore are the first names that come to mind.

  18. ChiefTomahawk 4 years ago

    What’s the talk with Mike Moustakas? Why is everyone hyping him up so much? Braves have enough prospects in the system. We need a proven SS that will become available via trade in the off-season. Once Chipper is gone, move the SS to 3B. It’s a very common change nowadays Arod and Mike Young have done it. Until our current prospects prove themselves in the majors we need proven players. 

  19. Joey Stanley 4 years ago

    Wren doesn’t need to be looking for utility help.  Chipper can’t play everyday, which is very obvious, so why not make him the utility player that can come in and pinch hit (which is all he’s really good for anymore…hitting) and occasionally relieve at 3B.  They can either look for an everyday 3rd baseman or a left fielder if they decided to put Prado at 3B.  Bottom line is that Chipper, at his age and with his injuries, should NOT be an everyday player at this point in his career.

    • 2donaldo1 4 years ago

      Do you ever watch any of the Braves games? Or do you just recycle the same old “Chipper is old,broken down’ crap that you have seen some Philly troll has said before you? The man has done everything possible to play. I doubt you would go through reconstructive surgery on your left knee and then have your right knee scoped during the season and only miss two weeks. Now I do realize they probabably really need you down at the Domino’s that you deliver pizza for, but you are probably “batting less than .300 ” for your career. It gets tiresome reading comments from a stooge such as you who has never laced up the spikes and has a “bottom line” that is so assanine. Replace Chipper with who exactly? If you had ever participated in anything other than your grade school recess tetherball tournament you would understand that injuries unfortunately are part of the game. Now go wash the cheetos from your fingers, your mommie wants you to take out the trash and get ready for your afternoon nap. And really keep your talent evaluation to yourself you “Never have been” ( that is someone who hasn’t even attained the label of “has been”) in case that thought is too complicated for you to understand. Read the stats, more importantly watch a game with the sound up keep your mouth shut and you might actually learn something about baseball. ” Only good for pinch hitting” what a doofus!

      • Joey Stanley 4 years ago

        Who pissed in YOUR cornflakes, dude? No need to attack me personally…I was just stating MY opinion.  It’s so easy for you, and others, to talk trash in blogs under the veil of a screen name. 
        Chipper has admitted in interviews that he KNOWS his knees are going to be a problem next year.  I appreciate all he’s done for the Braves organization and he’s still a great hitter, but he is a defensive liability at the hot corner.  Look at the grounder he “lost in the lights” at Florida…give me a break…that should have ended the game, but instead it gave Infante the opportunity hit a walk-off home run.  Plus, I remember a game in Chicago where he was dogging it to second, because he thought a grounder would be an inning ending double play, but the SS committed an error and still got him out.  If Atlanta were an AL team, he’d be a great DH, because he CAN still hit, I just don’t think he should play at the hot corner on a daily basis anymore.

        • roberty 4 years ago

          Chip is a much better third baseman than Prado, even at this stage in his career.  The Braves should get a guy like Kouzmanoff or Inge to play defensive backup for Chip late in games.  I don’t like seeing Chip bat third, but he was still the Braves most productive hitter this year. 

    • If Chipper is just a pinch hitter then there 200 other guys in this league that shouldn’t be playing. He is still an above average major league hitter. His OPS was .814 and played over 120 games. Major League average is around .750. He had a better OPS than Rollins, Utley, Wright, Werth, Jeter, Torrii Hunter, Ethier to name a few.

      He is a better hitter than Prado and Prado’s defense is only average at 3B anyway. If Prado was a gold glove guy then maybe I could understand it. They struggle scoring runs so why bench the better hitter. Unlike Chipper, Prado was well below major league averages offensively. Chipper hits for more power and gets on base more and is a switch hitter. I don’t see the problem. Prado is better off being the utility guy if they can get someone who can swing the stick to play LF.

  20. Wren needs to call up Troy Glaus and tell him to get into playin’ shape again because he is going to be needed to platoon with Chipper next year! Bring him out of retirement!

    • ChipsHips 4 years ago

      I’m pretty sure Garret Anderson is looking for a full time LF job too.

  21. Why has no one mentioned Greg Norton lately?

  22. this is the point at which the Braves swap an arm and get a bat,if it takes 2 to get somone who is got some team control for a few years then so be it.Chipper is on the decline,Heyward couldnt hit a tin can, and you just collapsed. The Braves need to make a move and it has to be now.

  23. InLeylandWeTrust 4 years ago

    Why would anybody want Derek Lowe, let alone trade a top prospect for him….

  24. Lowe will be wanted – just not by the Braves, and not for $15MM.

    For all that people complained about Lowe, please find a peripheral that explains his down year.

    The walk rate was slightly up, but so was his strikeout rate. His batted ball profile was exactly the same but his BABIP ballooned, so the extra hits are basically attributable to luck/defense. Strand rate dropped 10%, but that’s not generally considered a very controllable factor.

    Seriously, the only actual raw data that truly suggests he’s taken a turn for the worse is his fastball rating, but that’s offset at least in part by the reemergence of his slider, which was a great pitch for him and used much more often than in 2010. A slight velocity dip overall, but nothing too significant.

    As far as the sabermetrics are concerned, he’s the same pitcher. Now, that’s not worth $15MM, but there’s plenty of teams that would be willing to take a chance on the pitcher with the 40th best FIP in the league.

    I don’t disagree with Lowe not even being discussed in regards to Moustakas, but someone out there will like Lowe enough to try to squeeze every last penny out of Wren to get him.

    I’d guess Wren starts his offer at $6MM salary relief and ends at $9MM. At better than 2.5 WAR/year, his worth is easily within that range.


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