The Braves could be on the verge of dealing Jair Jurrjens to the Royals for elite outfield prospect Wil Myers. Could be. Let’s all keep our shirts on for now and find a less strange way of celebrating trade rumors. It’s always fun to stoke the flames of the Hot Stove and the Braves haven’t wasted any time. According to MLB Trade Rumors, Atlanta is willing to move Jurrjens and Martin Prado and the Royals might be a match…
The Braves and Royals have already discussed a Jurrjens trade, and the Braves have an interest in minor league outfielders Lorenzo Cain and Wil Myers, amongst several other prospects in K.C.’s deep farm system. The Royals are known to be targeting veteran starting pitching on the trade market this winter so the two sides would seem like a fit as trading partners. As Bowman notes, Cain could be seen by the Braves as a future center field option if Michael Bourn isn’t signed to an extension.
Jurrjens and Prado are heading to their second year of arbitration and figure to get raises from their ~$3 million 2011 salaries. Jurrjens had a tough year after the All Star Game dealing with a knee injury and ballooning ERA. Despite the 5.88 ERA in just seven second half starts, Jurrjens finished the season with a 2.96/3.99/4.23 (ERA/FIP/xFIP) pitching line and is only 25-years-old. His health might raise a flag and his price tag is trending upward but he is still an affordable, mid-top of the rotation pitcher.
Prado, on the other hand, saw his .307/.350/.459 line in 2010 fall to .260/.302/.385 this year. He should still draw some interest thanks to his ability to play around the field (spending time at 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, LF, and RF so far). Prado just turned 28-years old and is a career .293/.341/.434 hitter. Surely he has some better seasons than 2011 still ahead of him.
If the Royals actually traded Wil Myers for Jurrjens, my hat would spin around on my head while a slide whistle went off in the background. Myers had a disappointing 2011 hitting .254/.353/.393 as a 20-year-old in Double-A. The outfielder-converted-catcher entered the year as Keith Law’s eighth overall prospect in baseball. Myers also dealt with a freak, off-the-field knee injury. But, from what I gather on Twitter, he has recovered from the injury and looks good in the Arizona Fall League.
With Myers being a longshot, I’m less enthusiastic about Lorenzo Cain. In 158 plate appearances, Cain hit .306/.348/.415 in 2010 for the Brewers before becoming part of the package that netted Zack Grienke. Cain spent most of 2011 hitting .312/.380/.497 for Triple-A Omaha. The Braves could see him as a potential center field replacement if Michael Bourn can’t be re-signed, as you might have read in the earlier blockquote.
I’m not sure if Cain would be enough for Jurrjens if I were mistakenly given the keys to the GM’s office. Yes, I realize the Braves have pitching galore. That doesn’t mean you have to trade it right away. *cough*TommyHansoninjury*cough*