Ring ‘Em Up: Forgetting free agency
BY WADE MCMILLIN, Couchsideshow.com editor
I absolutely love mlbtraderumors.com.
It’s a big reason why I started this website and it keep me leaps and bounds ahead of other Braves fans. Mlbtraderumors.com has an interesting sidebar on the right where you can search for the latest rumors about your team. I’m a Braves fan, but this offseason has been incredible slow for the choppers. So each time I make one of eight daily visits to mlbtraderumors.com to see the latest about Atlanta, I’m usually disappointed.
Today’s latest was especially gloom. To my surprise, after I clicked on the “Braves rumors” tab, two new rumors have came up about the team. At first, I though maybe the Braves were finally going after someone or making a trade. Unfortunately, one post was barely two sentences about a possible Martin Prado trade and the other was about how the Braves are one of four teams “sitting out of free agency.”
Still, like any baseball fan during the offseason, any piece of news about your team is exciting. Here are my thoughts on the latest from the Atlanta Braves:
MARTIN PRADO TRADE ON TABLE
• The details: According to MLB.com’s Thomas Harding, Atlanta is revisiting a trade with the Colorado Rockies. The Braves are discussing swapping second baseman/outfielder Martin Prado for Colorado outfielder Seth Smith. Harding also reported that the Braves were trying to move starting pitcher Jair Jurrjens first, however.
• Analysis: I wouldn’t be totally against Atlanta trading Prado for Smith. The deal is just sort of odd becuase the Braves were looking for an outfielder who hits for power from the right side of the plate — not the left. Be that as it may, I think Smith could be the answer Atlanta is looking for when it comes to a power-hitting corner outfielder. It’s tough to call Smith a power hitter, though. Last season, he hit just 15 home runs with 59 RBIs in 533 plate appearances. Not a horrible season for a platoon player, but it’s a big discouraging after Smith, 29, hit 17 homers with 52 RBIs in 398 playe appearances during the 2010 season. Smith isn’t exactly a prospect, but he could pay off once he is a regular starter, which he would be for Atlanta — especially if they were to lose Prado, who put up numbers almost identical to Smith’s for the past two seasons.
BRAVES ACCUSED OF “SITTING OUT OF FREE AGENCY”
• The details: MLBtraderumors.com truthfully said the Braves are “sitting out of free agency” because the squad is just one of four teams to not have signed a single free agent to a major league deal so far this offseason. The Toronto Blue Jays, Houston Astros and Oakland Athletics are the other teams that have remained inactive.
• Analysis: Being thrown into the same group with teams such as Houston, Oakland and Toronto is a tough pill to swallow for fans of Atlanta. The bad news is, I don’t think it will get any better. The Braves are asking for a small army for Jurrjens and no player who jumps off the charts for Prado. Swapping one of those players, or both, is the only way I see Atlanta’s front office creating any buzz this offseason. I do expect them to sign free agent shortstop, Ronny Cedeno, however.