Braves Notes: Bourn, McCann, Jurrjens, Prado

Here's the latest on the Atlanta nine…

  • In a Q & A with Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Michael Bourn reiterated that the Braves haven't approached him about a contract extension, and said that he doesn't want to get into negotiations during the season.  Re-signing with Atlanta is "always a possibility," Bourn said. "I like playing where I’m wanted. That’s one thing that I always say."
  • Braves GM Frank Wren is also quoted in Vivlamore's piece, describing Bourn as "the perfect fit for us" and stating that the team wants to retain him beyond 2012.  "Our basic philosophy is we have expressed that we would like to retain Michael and then, from there, we go silent," Wren said. "When we approach him, before or after the season, those are things we prefer not to talk about."
  •'s Mark Bowman doesn't think Bourn will re-sign with the Braves, believing that the team won't give a five-year deal "to a speed guy who will be 30 years old at the start of the contract."  Looking at Bourn as an extension candidate in January, MLBTR's Mike Axisa postulated that a five-year, $50MM contract would be fair for both sides.
  • Also from Bowman's online chat with fans, he thinks "at least one of" Jair Jurrjens or Martin Prado will be traded before Opening Day 2013 and that Brian McCann won't sign an extension with the Braves this year now that Yadier Molina's new deal with the Cardinals has changed the market for catchers.  Bowman isn't sure Atlanta will be able to afford a new deal for McCann, especially since AL teams can offer McCann the luxury of the DH spot in the latter years of a contract.
  • Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports takes a somewhat pessimistic view of the Braves' 2011 season and their late-season collapse, wondering "what if last year’s first half was the aberration?"

44 Responses to Braves Notes: Bourn, McCann, Jurrjens, Prado Leave a Reply

  1. coreybishop 3 years ago

    McCann and Bourn should have been the Braves top priorities this off season before December ever got here, no matter what. McCann at the very least.

    • Michael Gardiner 3 years ago

       The Braves have a young catching prospect who is superior defensive to McCann and if his bat develops may be a notch below (possibly on par). He has developed quite well too. He is expected to be ML ready by 2014 which coincidentally is the 1st year of Atlanta possibly without McCann.

      • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

        If you are talking about Bethancourt, which you must be. Your comment is way too optimistic and premature .

        He’s still in high A where he posted a .277 OBP,  in fact his OBP to date is .303..

        So saying his bat is a notch below or possibly on par is just silly. His defense is there, but he’s no McCann, nor does he have a good chance to be

        • Clayton Wilson 3 years ago

          I think he meant that if his bat continues to develop that he has the potential to be a notch below or on par with McCann as a player.

          Braves seem to always be fine at the catchers position. It’s a bit early to worry about McCann, but I trust them to fill that role with someone productive if he does walk.

          • Jeff 3 years ago

            Bethancourt I see as a Ross replacement, not a McCann replacement right now, though that could change if he wows me in AA this year.

            Gattis I’d give the same odds of making the majors.

        • Michael Gardiner 3 years ago

          I meant if his bat continues to develop. He has shown some really good signs and in winter ball this year put up big numbers. In 19 games hit .308 5 HRs and 13 RBIs. While the Arizona Fall League is more a hitters league it is still a very good sign.

      • 14 Rocks 3 years ago

        He is a PROSPECT!!  He may or may not ever develop into a major league player.  How have the last two great catching prospects from the Braves done so far in the major leauges???

        The Braves absolutely need to extend McCann.  You don’t get rid of 7 time all-star catchers who haven’t even reached their peak years yet.

        • rundmc1981 3 years ago

          Sure, I’d love for ATL to extend him, but at what price? I do think Molina got overpaid, but I never thought ATL could have signed McCann around Molina money (5/75) anyway. I’d be surprised if he doesn’t go for $90-100M, but I’d be equally surprised if ATL gave him 5 years.

        • Michael Gardiner 3 years ago

          It is actually tough to gauge Salty because the guy has been full-time once so far. It is tough to be good when you are not consistently out there. While i agree with your premise that prospects are not givens they certainly have to receive chances at one point or another. The thing is that as I said if Bethancourt can continue to improve his bat he will be the deciding factor in Mac staying.

    • rundmc1981 3 years ago

      Boras (Bourn) doesn’t do extensions. Bourn can talk all he wants to about an extension, but he’s just protecting his best interest. 

      We have a rookie that has never played in MLB (Pastornicky) penciled in at SS, and a prospect (Simmons) that has never played above high-A. While we have a backup (Jack Wilson) who’ll miss at least the first month of the season and some low-ceiling talent behind him. And yet you think our top priority in the offseason was signing a player (McCann) to an extension when we have control of him for 2 more seasons? A lot can (and will) happen in 2 seasons, especially for a catcher.

      If McCann does go (presuming we offer him a fair deal), I look forward to having a more balanced team, like so many other teams. STL won 2 championships with Yadier Molina, we’ve not gotten past the 1st round with McCann and his Louisville Slugger. Bethancourt should improve some with his plate discipline, but I hope continues to become a very good defensive catcher. That would allow us to devote the funds that would have gone to McCann to positions where SLG/OPS is expected at the plate: LF, 3B. Joe Terdoslavich (3B) is looking like a very good hitter, while we don’t have an in-house upgrade to LF.

  2. NYBravosFan10 3 years ago

    I hate Mark Bowman. He’s pessimistic, his tweets are always sarcastic and alot of the time offensive to the team and from what I’ve seen and heard, the team doesn’t approve of him either. He never thinks the Braves are going to make a move and never thinks they’ll extend anyone. The guy is absolutely head over heels in love with Christian Bethancourt so of course he’d say that McCann won’t sign. I’d like to insult him further but I’ll take the high road and ask how his beloved WV Mountaineers did in the big east tournament.

    •  I think as fans we forget that the reporters covering a team are not fans.  Bowman and DOB are paid to follow the team around and report what they see.  They aren’t seeing the team through a fan’s rose colored glasses. 

      At least on the record, DOB just parrots what the players and coaches tell him.  He often provides stats to support a point, but rarely offers his own opinions about what the team should do, and is almost never critical of the players or organization.  As a beat writes that’s not his job, and he knows that bursting fan’s balloons with not help net traffic.

      Bowman, does not work for a media outlet.  He’s getting paid by MLB to blog about the Braves.  He’s much freer with his opinion, and its not always positive. 

  3. I really want Bourn in Cardinal red in 2013. He is the type of player we lack: speed, lead off, and an elite outfielder.

    • LazerTown 3 years ago

      and overpaid.

    • Lastings 3 years ago

      Well, if the Cardinals could find a DeLorean, set the year to 2003, and hit 88 MPH; you would have that with a combination of Beltran and Furcal. That’s going to be tough to do though, but hey St. Louis has won two titles in this millennium, so be happy…

    • start_wearing_purple 3 years ago

      Sorry, I’m just having trouble with this whole Bourn being an elite outfielder. The guy is basically what Juan Pierre was.

      • Clayton Wilson 3 years ago

         Except he’s much better on the bases and actually has an arm. His defense is elite, he gets on base at a solid clip, and like I mentioned…..he’s just simply better at stealing bases than Pierre was.

        He’s been an elite center-fielder for a couple of years, but I’m not too fond of the Braves offering 5 years either.

        • Jeff 3 years ago

          I could live with 5/45 or even 5/50 for Bourn.  Won’t be bad until at least year 4, and there’s no good CF in the system right now.

          If Bourn leaves- you might have to consider putting Heyward in CF, especially if his bat doesn’t recover.

          • CT 3 years ago

            I think if Heyward could play CF, he’d have played there from the start. He’s a good corner OF, but doesn’t have the range to play CF.

    • stl_cards16 3 years ago

      I was just thinking the other day about Bourn coming to St. Louis.  I was actually thinking how it is too bad that Houston traded him last year.  With Lunhow’s knowledge of the Cardinals system, they could have been ideal trade partners this winter.  Oh well, the Cardinals should have some money to spend and unless Jay pulls something crazy this year, there will be a need.  I’m guessing he ends up priced out of St. Louis, though.

  4. Maverick60 3 years ago

    Morosi is reaching a little. The sky is not falling. Calm down, JP.

  5. legaryd 3 years ago

    I’d pass on both.  McCann and Bourn are awesome, but signing a catcher and a speedster to an extension into their-mid thirties is bad for business.  If they had to choose I would say go with McCann because quality offensive catchers are super rare, vs. speedsters who relatively are easy to develop.

    • NYBravosFan10 3 years ago

      the braves actually have a guy developing in their system named Matt Lipka. He’s a centerfielder, he hits decent, he’s from Texas, he runs like the wind, he’s small he’s basically a caucasian Michael Bourn and about ten years younger. The only problem is that he isn’t anywhere close to ready.

      • Lastings 3 years ago

         “…he’s from Texas…”


        • GreenCustom24 3 years ago

          Bourn’s from Texas as well. Just showing the similarities, as insignificant as that one is. Ha

      • Jeff 3 years ago

        I’m not sold on Lipka yet.  A good year can convince me though.

        • rundmc1981 3 years ago

          ATL needs to learn from their recent mistakes of anointing young, unproven prospects as starters. Some of them work out (Freeman, Heyward kind of), but some of them don’t (Schafer, Pastornicky…?)

          In regards to positional players, I wish we’d be forced to play someone by their incredible play at the minor-league level and not because they’re our only hope (Pastornicky) by not planning accordingly. 

          • Clayton Wilson 3 years ago

             First paragraph isn’t making any sense to me……Schafer is the only example you can really provide. Freeman and Heyward have worked out so far, we still haven’t seen what Pastornicky can do…..

    • Jeff 3 years ago

      I think McCann will age well for a catcher, I think he wants to stay in Atlanta, and I think he’s on his way to being a HOFer.  You keep HOFers.

  6. Bourn was awful in Atlanta last year.  His numbers in Atlanta last year were worse than McLouth’s.  Don’t believe me, look it up.

    There’s no reason to sign a speed only players into his mid-30’s. 

    Signing McCann to a big extension is also doesn’t make sense from a baseball stand point.  He’s already peaked, and he’s probably not capable of playing another position, no DH in national league, etc.  Father time is generally not kind to pudgy, relatively nonathletic catchers.  And frankly, its entirely possible that Atlanta can’t afford him given multiple holes that will probably have to be filled through FA and significant arbitration raises in upcoming years. 

    Still, the Braves have so much of their marketing campaigns, and PR tied to McCann that they may not be able to afford to see him go.

    • timmytwoshoezzz 3 years ago

      why market the Braves, people don’t go to the games anyway.

      • Clayton Wilson 3 years ago

        Meh, they’re middle of the pack when it comes to attendance. Surely some people go…..

        • Brad426 3 years ago

           Middle of the pack with mostly larger market teams above them (the Rockies and Brewers being notable exceptions, and I certainly tip my proverbial cap to those two franchises that have such good average attendance in MSA’s of 2 millionish).

      • rundmc1981 3 years ago

        They need to market the Braves more, just in a different way. They’re out in the relative middle of nowhere (off 20, but no shops, restaurants, bars, etc. within a stone’s throw). There won’t ever be foot traffic, unfortunately. 

        I still wish the Braves would take over the site of the GA Dome, if and when the Falcons vacate the spot for an open-air stadium. That won’t happen anytime soon considering the economy and the young age of the Turner Field, but if ATL were “MyTown2″, I’d be sliding right in.

    • Clayton Wilson 3 years ago

       McLouth: 321 PA, .228, .344, .333, 4 SB(2 CS), 0.7 WAR

      Bourn: 249 PA, .278, .321, .352, 22 SB(7 CS), 0.6 WAR

      Not a huge difference when looking at the numbers, but you have to factor in defense. McLouth was/is easily one of the worst defensive center-fielders in baseball while Bourn is one of the best. McLouth probably hurt the team more than Bourn did…..

      And in any case, that’s a small sample for Bourn.

    • Clayton Wilson 3 years ago

       McLouth: 321 PA, .228, .344, .333, 4 SB(2 CS), 0.7 WAR

      Bourn: 249 PA, .278, .321, .352, 22 SB(7 CS), 0.6 WAR

      Not a huge difference when looking at the numbers, but you have to factor in defense. McLouth was/is easily one of the worst defensive center-fielders in baseball while Bourn is one of the best. McLouth probably hurt the team more than Bourn did…..

      And in any case, that’s a small sample for Bourn.

  7. Michael Gardiner 3 years ago

    What Morosi forgets is that the same basic team in 2010 won 91 games and was a Wild Card team. Garbage article.

    • Clayton Wilson 3 years ago

       It really is, I usually don’t mind Morosi.

  8. Clayton Wilson 3 years ago

    What reason would the Braves have to trade Prado or Jurrjens before the season? Are they going to be suddenly overwhelmed with a package in the middle of spring training, when most rosters are likely set?

    Wren has said that he’s going to give this same club another shot, and they deserve it. Both can still be productive, and they’d be selling pretty low. With the health issues surrounding Hudson and to a lesser extent, Hanson…..why would they move a healthy Jurrjens before he gets the chance to rebuild some stock?

    Let the guy build some value back up, hope one of Teheran/Delgado are ready to take his place and if so, trade him for a bat(if they even need one).

    The Prado prediction is way out there. Wilson’s gonna be out for at least a month, Chipper’s yet to play a ST game, and they don’t have much MLB-ready infield depth in the minors. The guy can play both corner outfield spots, 3B, 2B, and even 1B in a pinch. Again, they’d also be selling low…

    Can’t believe Bowman’s still convinced. He obviously knows more about the Braves plans than I do, but I’d be genuinely shocked if Wren moves either unless he’s offered something he can’t say no to… which case I’d be fine with it, assuming Seth Smith’s not involved.

    • 14 Rocks 3 years ago

      Read more closely.   He said that they are more likely to be traded before opening day 2013, NOT this season.

      • Clayton Wilson 3 years ago

         I refuse to acknowledge it after typing all of that. I’m just going to act like they edited it to say 2013 after making the mistake and putting 2012.

        That’s what happened, I swear…….:(

    • rundmc1981 3 years ago

      Yeah, he’s already allocated funds to pay for both arb salaries, but I don’t think he wants to do that again. With the market the way he is and teams knowing about their inevitable availability, it’s hard for me to imagine both on the team by the start of Opening Day 2013 if both play up to their levels.

  9. rundmc1981 3 years ago

    Boras might have a great reputation for ripping off teams, but not in Atlanta. From what I’ve heard, we actually have a good relationship with him. 

    What I read in the Q&A with Bourn, it sounds like he wants to be in ATL, but he also looks forward to getting the attention that goes along with free agency, in regards to “feeling wanted.” ATL might be too proud to roll out the red carpet for the people that need the red carpet treatment, because that mindset could run counter to the team-first dynamic the front-office tries so hard to protect. 

    With that said, I hope we can agree on a workable deal, but I’m delighted at the amount of free agents that could take on CF if we don’t re-sign him.

  10. geauxbraves2000 3 years ago

    I get the feeling he doesn’t want to be in ATL either.  Its starting to remind me of the Kenny Lofton situation.

    That said, I think there is a less than 0.5492% chance that he actually stays a Brave.  I don’t really think the Braves will even make an offer to be honest.

    I guess only time will tell.

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