GM Frank Wren told Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM that the Braves will increase their payroll in 2012, but that doesn’t mean they’ll pursue top free agent shortstops (all Twitter links). Wren indirectly ruled free agents Jimmy Rollins and Jose Reyes out by expressing a strong preference for one-year deals.
Though the Braves remain open-minded regarding possible trades, Wren explained that a free agent signing is more likely. Shortstop prospect Tyler Pastornicky is not ready for full-time MLB duty, according to Wren. Alex Gonzalez, Atlanta's shortstop since July 2010, hits free agency with a Type B ranking (Reyes and Rollins are Type As).
Heading into the offseason, it appeared Wren would have as little as $7MM to work with. The Braves spent $91MM on payroll in 2011, when they won 89 games and narrowly missed the playoffs. I recently examined the trade and free agent market for shortstops.