With all the rumors swirling about a possible trade of Jair Jurrjens or Martin Prado, it is understandable that Atlanta Braves fans may have expected a deal to transpire, especially with the GM meetings this past week. After all, Frank Wren traded for Dan Uggla during the GM meetings last year. The GM meetings have come and gone with no activity, though.
Wren has always been forthright in saying that he and the rest of the Braves front office will listen to and consider any offer that makes the team better. When the Prado and Jurrjens rumors began, it was incorrectly reported that the Braves were seeking to trade those players. In actuality, the Braves are open to any offer, and both Prado and Jurrjens are very desirable players.
“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."
“People like our players," Wren further explained. "Yes, teams have called but it’s a situation where we do like our team, we do like where we are, and you have to be careful that when you take away from it to improve it, that it really turns out that way.”
The Braves are in a good position. They don't have to trade Jurrjens or Prado (or any other player for that matter). With their roster as it currently stands, they essentially have the same team as last season, when an epic collapse kept them out of the playoffs. With the salary relief from the trade of Derek Lowe, the Braves still have some available payroll to upgrade the offense and bench.
Since there is no sense of urgency among the Braves front office to trade Jurrjens, Prado, or another player, Wren can field offers and wait until some of the big-name free agents sign. Teams who miss out on a particular free agent may be willing to pay a steep price to acquire some of the Braves' talent.
The key to Wren's comments is the fact that he won't trade a player just for the sake of making a deal. The trade must upgrade the roster. A trade of Prado, for instance, may prove difficult. Prado is a great player, and it won't be easy to find a replacement that outproduces him.
Regardless, with the Winter Meetings approaching in a couple of weeks, Wren's phone will unquestionably be ringing. Whether a deal gets made or not is simply impossible to predict, but it is safe to say that the Braves will field a better team in 2012 no matter what happens.
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