The Braves really have a knack for doing things at the perfect time to avoid media attention. Last year they pulled off one of the worst collapses in MLB history and got no real criticism because the media was tearing the Red Sox up. The Yankees are the scapegoat this time around getting a lot of attention after trading Jesus Montero for Michael Pineda. No one has really noticed the Braves signing of Jack Wilson and Martin Prado other than avid Atlanta fans. It makes sense though, Pineda and Jesus are a bit bigger names than Jack Wilson, and Prado is simply avoiding arbitration.
But these two deals are fantastic for the Braves and Frank Wren just keeps making me happier with him as the GM. The last real hole of the team has been filled with a one year $1 million dollar deal (up to $500,000 more in incentives) for the veteran infielder. DOB has some quotes from Wilson if you would like to hear what he has to say. Seems like a classy guy, typical Brave.
Wilson is probably going to take the role of utility infielder and back up shortstop for rookie Tyler Pastornicky. He is an excellent defender and can play third, short, and second base efficiently. He isn’t going to bring us much (or anything) to the plate but he’s a utility infielder for a reason. We are paying for his glove and ability at shortstop not his bat. I talked about Jack Wilson and Brendan Ryan as the best fits for the back up shortstop position and I am glad we were able to get Wilson for so little. We didn’t have to make a trade and lose any prospects and the deal is much less than what some other utility guys have received this winter. Hopefully Wren can silence a few more critics with this small, but important move.
Mark Bowman says that the Braves and Martin Prado have avoided arbitration and agreed on a one year deal worth about $4.7 million. This makes it less likely that Prado will be dealt this Winter but it is still possible. If Prado can bounce back from his injury ridden 2011 and hit around .300 he will be worth the money.
The only other unsigned arbitration players are EOF, JJ, and Michael Bourn. I think the Braves will look into extending Michael Bourn long term before he goes to arbitration to see where Boras is aiming. If it’s low enough I hope we can resign him now, but I’m not going to get my hopes up.