The Braves are still looking for a bat and, after floating Jair Jurrjens’ name around, appear to be ready to move Martin Prado. The Rockies might be a good fit for Prado since they view him as a starting second baseman, according to the wonderful MLB Trade Rumors. Even Prado’s disappointing .260/.302/.385 line in 2011 would be better than whatever Rox incumbent second bagger Mark Ellis was doing with a bat last season when he hit .248/.288/.346 between Oakland and Colorado. Prado is just 28-years-old and can play all over the diamond. Let’s see what he could fetch from the Rockies…
The Untouchable: Dexter Fowler
The Braves would probably love to net the 25-year-old center fielder. Fowler hit .266/.363/.432 and scored a career high 2.9 fWAR (Fangraphs Wins Above Replacement) in 2011. The Rockies had to be particularly impressed with his second half performance that saw him hit five home runs and .288/.381/.498 after July 15. Fowler earned $424,000 this past season and heads into his first year of arbitration. While being represented by Scott Boras, he appears to get the Troy Renck stamp of “off limits.”
The Probable: Seth Smith
Smith probably won’t excite many Braves fans or fans in general. He hit 15 home runs and a .284/.347/.483 line 2011 while playing both corner outfield spots. His -5.8 UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating) on defense wasn’t good but he did post positive metrics the two previous seasons. Smith also hits arbitration for the first time this year.
The lefty has some pretty pronounced splits though. Smith hit .300/.366/.527 against RHP in 2011 compared to just .217/.272/.304 against LHP, making him look like a platoon kinda guy. He gets the Troy Renck stamp of “meh.”
The Prospect: Charlie Blackmon
Blackmon got on the field for 27 games and 102 plate appearances in 2011 for the Rockies while recording a .255/.277/.296 line. He spent the rest of the year raking in a .342/.396/.576 line at Triple-A. The 25-year-old center fielder is just about ready for a major league job but there is no word whether the Braves have asked or if the Rockies are willing to deal him. That earns him the Troy Renck stamp of “shrugged shoulders.”
Other prospect names of note that would get Frank Wren hung up on include 3B Nolan Arenado and OF Tim Wheeler.
I’d rather just run Prado back out there for another season but the potential $4+ million in arbitration might be a deal breaker for the Braves.