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Martin Prado Rumors
Even with GM Frank Wren saying a significant trade isn't necessary this winter, MLB.com's Mark Bowman writes that scouts and executives from other Major League teams are still getting the sense that the Braves will move Jair Jurrjens or Martin Prado this offseason.
A trade wouldn't necessarily have to come at the Winter Meeting. As Bowman points out, Jurrjens may fetch a larger bounty once names like C.J. Wilson and Mark Buehrle are off the market. Interested clubs figure to take a longer look if they miss out on their top free agent targets, and the Braves will then have more leverage.
Wren continues to say that he doesn't need to make a trade for payroll purposes, but Bowman notes that moving either player would save the club in the neighborhood of $5MM. Matt Swartz's projections with MLBTR have Jurrjens at $5.1MM and Prado at $4.4MM.
Last night, Danny Knobler of CBS Sports reported that half of the teams in baseball were interested in Prado, and 8-10 teams had come calling on Jurrjens.
Some Winter Meetings rumors courtesy of CBS Sports' Danny Knobler:
- Jair Jurrjens and Martin Prado continue to be "as sought after as any players" on the trade market. Atlanta has received calls from 8-10 teams on Jurrjens and "half the teams in baseball" on Prado. Most see Prado as a second base upgrade. The Braves continue to say they don't need to move either player.
- It's been well-documented that the White Sox could trade any combination of John Danks, Gavin Floyd, and Carlos Quentin this offseason, but Knobler says they'll listen on Gordon Beckham as well. Many Sox officials are hesitant to concede to rebuilding, despite the fact that GM Ken Williams used that exact word last month.
- If the Tigers are going to make a big free agent signing, it's more likely to be Yoenis Cespedes than anyone else.
- The Rays are open to trading Jeff Niemann and Wade Davis to improve the offense. They're also looking to deal Reid Brignac and upgrade their catching.
The latest on the Braves…
- Atlanta wants a solid backup/Plan B at shortstop but is setting its sights higher than a reunion with Edgar Renteria, tweets David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
- The Braves are waiting out C.J. Wilson and Mark Buehrle to see if trade interest picks up in Jair Jurrjens after they sign, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
- Though the Braves might still be willing to trade Jurrjens, MLB.com's Mark Bowman hears that Tim Hudson might not be ready for the start of the season due to back surgery. Given uncertainty about Tommy Hanson's shoulder, Bowman wonders if the Braves will be hesitant to trade Jurrjens.
- Though the Blue Jays have interest in the Braves' Martin Prado, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets that the teams do not match up given Atlanta's desire for a left field "thumper."
Steve Adams also contributed to this post.
Some links from baseball's two east divisions…
- The Orioles are expected to be more active on the trade market than in free agency, writes MLB.com's Britt Ghiroli. Jeremy Guthrie has been their most actively shopped player, and several teams have expressed interest. Baltimore would almost certainly want pitching in return.
- Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos told Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca that he's likely to exhaust all trade options for pitching help before diving into free agency. A second baseman is also on the agenda, and the team would like to add a frontline starting pitcher if possible.
- Earlier today we heard that the Marlins' reluctance to include a no-trade clause is an obstacle as they try to sign Mark Buehrle, but president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest told Joe Capozzi of The Palm Beach Post that he isn't worried about the team's policy hurting their ability to sign premium free agents.
- "I’ve actively shopped players this fall that I haven’t mentioned their names," said Braves GM Frank Wren to Dave O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter links). He was referring to players that are reportedly on the market, but have not actually been discussed with other teams.
- "Martin Prado is a solid player and a part of our team for almost five years. We’re not out looking to trade good players," added Wren according to O'Brien (on Twitter). Prado has been a popular name on the trade rumor circuit this offseason.
- The Rockies are out of the running for Roy Oswalt, reports Troy Renck of The Denver Post. They remain aggressive in their pursuit of a starting pitcher though, and have interest in Kevin Millwood and former Rockie Jeff Francis. The Twins are in on Francis as well.
- Japanese second baseman Kensuke Tanaka will remain in Japan, reports Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports (on Twitter). The Rockies had expressed initial interest in the free agent according to Morosi.
- The Braves want good prospects along with Seth Smith in return for Martin Prado, reports SI.com's Jon Heyman (on Twitter), so the two clubs have some work to do if they're going to make a trade.
The Rockies have been busy this evening. They traded Chris Iannetta to the Angels for Tyler Chatwood and agreed to terms with Ramon Hernandez on a two-year deal. Here are the rest of the day’s notes on the Rockies:
- The Rockies remain hopeful of obtaining Martin Prado from the Braves, Troy Renck of the Denver Post writes.
- There’s a decent chance Kevin Millwood re-signs with the Rockies this offseason, according to Renck (on Twitter).
- The Rockies have offered Seth Smith to the Braves, but they don’t have interest in packaging him with Tim Wheeler or Charlie Blackmon.
- The Rockies and Padres haven’t made any progress on a possible deal for Orlando Hudson.
- Rival teams say the Rockies would like a Double-A or Triple-A pitcher for Ian Stewart.
On a day when the Blue Jays adopted a familiar-looking "new" logo, here are some news items to carry us into the weekend….
- If the Astros fire Brad Mills, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports believes Mills could reunite with Terry Francona as the latter's bench coach for a future managing vacancy. Morosi also lists Rangers executives A.J. Preller and Thad Levine and Rays executives Andrew Friedman and Gerry Hunsicker as wish list candidates for Jim Crane if he removes Ed Wade as Houston's general manager. It would be the second stint as Astros' GM for Hunsicker, who ran the team from 1996-2004.
- Ryan Madson could be one of several free agents to lose his Type A status under the rules of the new collective bargaining agreement, tweets Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. Such an adjustment would help Madson, as clubs with unprotected first-round draft picks currently have to give up that pick in order to sign the closer.
- Twins GM Terry Ryan tells Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post that Denard Span and Ben Revere won't be traded this winter. Minnesota could lose both Michael Cuddyer and Jason Kubel to free agency this offseason.
- The White Sox didn't add Jordan Danks to their 40-man roster, and Jim Margalus of the South Side Sox speculates that this could be a hint that Chicago is preparing to part ways with John Danks. The elder Danks brother has drawn strong interest on the trade market.
- The Braves "seem to undervalue [Martin Prado's] skills," writes Fangraphs' Jason Roberts, who thinks Atlanta may not get proper market value in exchange for the utilityman in a deal.
- Right-hander Darrell Rasner has signed a new contract with the Rakuten Golden Eagles, reports NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman. Matt Sosnick, Rasner's agent, tells Newman the contract is worth $1.5MM plus performance bonuses. Rasner last appeared in the majors as a Yankee in 2008 and has pitched for Rakuten ever since.
- The Blue Jays, Cardinals, Mariners, Red Sox and Twins are all listed as possible suitors for Kelly Shoppach by ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick (Twitter link).
Here's the latest on the Braves from David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution…
- Brian McCann was set to earn $8.5MM next season but "maxed out" his contract incentives related to Silver Slugger awards and All-Star appearances, so the star catcher will earn a total of $11.5MM in 2012. O'Brien said the Braves haven't discussed a long-term extension with McCann but the team usually doesn't pursue such negotiations until later in the winter. McCann is under contract through next year and the Braves have a $12MM club option on McCann for 2013 that looks like a lock to be exercised.
- In regards to the Martin Prado trade talks between the Braves and Rockies, O'Brien thinks Atlanta would move Prado for Seth Smith and a center field prospect like Tim Wheeler or Charlie Blackmon. With Michael Bourn only contracted through 2012, the Braves are looking for center field depth in case Bourn's asking price is too high for their liking.
- Atlanta "made a run at" Jamey Carroll but balked at giving the 37-year-old infielder a multiyear contract.
- The Braves are known to desire a trade package for Jair Jurrjens similar to the one the Royals received last winter for Zack Greinke, but O'Brien says this asking price could be too high for most teams. "Word out of the GM meetings was that the Braves are demanding so much for Jurrjens that a deal might be unlikely unless they come down in their multi-player/prospect asking price or some teams get desperate for starting pitching later in the offseason," O'Brien writes.
- "It's unclear" if Atlanta is interested in bringing back Alex Gonzalez on a one-year deal. The Braves are looking for a short-term veteran to play shortstop until Tyler Pastornicky is ready.
- GM Frank Wren says his team isn't actively shopping Prado and Jurrjens but are willing to listen to offers. "I think that [Prado and Jurrjens trade possibility] was wrongly characterized from the very beginning,” Wren said. “What we said and what we stand by is that we’re looking to get better, and however we can get better we will. We’re open minded. We’ll listen if somebody calls."
The latest out of the National League West..
- Rockies closer Huston Street is a name to keep in mind for the Red Sox, tweets Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe.
- Based on multiple conversations with executives and agents, Troy Renck of The Denver Post tweets that the Rockies are not in on free agent Rafael Furcal. The shortstop is seeking a two-year deal in the $16MM range.
- The Rockies don't feel as though they have to give up a center fielder to get Martin Prado from the Braves in a trade, so there is still hope for a deal, Renck tweets.
- If Prado isn't a possibility for the club, Orlando Hudson might be, says Renck (via Twitter). However, the club is divided on whether he fits or if they would be better off turning to internal options instead.
- Rockies General Manager Dan O'Dowd is after a "No. 3 or No. 4" pitcher, writes Troy Renck of The Denver Post. The team's search has led them to talks with Roy Oswalt, and the team is being aggressive in their pursuit, according to several agents and executives, Renck tweets. While Oswalt is interested, he's in no rush to sign with anyone.
- Dodgers owner Frank McCourt will sell 100% of the team but retain the land outside of the Dodger Stadium parking lots in a deal that could be worth upwards of $1.3 billion, tweets Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
- FOX Sports released a statement on the Dodgers' lawsuit against them and termed the action as the "latest chapter in the current owner's ongoing scheme to avoid honoring his contractual obligations," tweets Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times.
The latest from Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports…
- The Dodgers' payroll will be well under $100MM in 2012, sources tell the FOX writers. If James Loney and Hiroki Kuroda return, there will be little left to spend. On the plus side, the Dodgers were able to reduce Matt Kemp's '12 salary to slightly more than $10MM as part of his new multiyear deal, in a year where as much as $16MM seemed possible through arbitration. Rosenthal and Morosi say the Dodgers would want to buy out at least two free agent years in a long-term deal for Clayton Kershaw, who may take home the NL Cy Young award tomorrow. With Kershaw under team control for three more years, the Dodgers don't have the same urgency to lock him up as they did Kemp. In MLBTR's exclusive arbitration salary projections, Kershaw was pegged at $8.4MM, easily a first-time record for a pitcher.
- The Astros "probably will acquire a shortstop and add low-cost relief pitching" this offseason, write Rosenthal and Morosi. GM Ed Wade told the FOX writers he plans to stick with Mark Melancon at closer. The GM explained his team's corner outfield situation: "From the standpoint of corner outfield, there are going to be guys out there, looking for opportunities. We’re pretty much the land of opportunity right now."
- Chipper Jones still enjoys playing, says Braves GM Frank Wren. The 39-year-old third baseman is signed through 2012 with a '13 vesting option. Rosenthal and Morosi say Martin Prado is available in the right deal, but the Braves value his versatility, including his ability to back up Jones.
- Yoenis Cespesdes could petition baseball to declare him a free agent fairly quickly, after he establishes temporary residence in the Dominican Republic. The residency part is expected to happen within 10 to 14 days.
- The Blue Jays have expressed interest in trading for Rockies reliever Huston Street. Street has one year and $8MM remaining on his contract. Rosenthal and Morosi say the Rockies remain interested in a deal for Prado, which would require Seth Smith and another piece.