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Best Move for Atlanta Braves? Keep Martin Prado

December 28th, 2011 at 10:29 PM
By Cody Fields

Amidst all the rumors floating around this offseason, the Atlanta Braves are still said to be shopping Martin Prado. However, one must wonder if shipping him off would really be worth it.

Granted, Prado's production took a nosedive last season, but what is lost in his .260 average is the fact that he was hitting .277 on June 7, the last game he played before missing a month due to a staph infection. His average had hovered just under .300 in the couple of weeks leading up to his illness as well.

Prado also hit .307 in 2009 and 2010 and has a lifetime average .293. For Prado, 2011 was an anomaly.

Trading Prado would also kill the Braves in terms of versatility.

As it stands, Prado would fill in at third base when Chipper Jones needs a day off. In the rare instance Dan Uggla would need a day (Uggla played 161 games in 2011), Prado could also play second base. He has also spent time at first base and right field, so he is essentially a starting super utility man.

And when Prado shifts to spell someone else, or if he needs a break, the Braves already have the likes of Jason Heyward, Eric Hinske and Matt Diaz, who very well could platoon in right field with Jason Heyward anyway. Hinske also provides flexibility to rest Freddie Freeman at first base.

All this weighs on what may be the most likely of the proposed deals, which would be to land Seth Smith from the Colorado Rockies. That would only give the Braves less flexibility on top of two outfielders who can't hit lefties. Couple that with Prado's overall presence and work ethic, and that is something with which the Braves can ill afford.

If the Braves must trade someone, they should try to stick to trading Jair Jurrjens, since they have such a wealth of young pitching. Anything else would defy logic.

Tags: Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, Martin Prado, MLB

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