Braves expect to be busy talking trades in Dallas

Things have been rather quiet for Braves general manager Frank Wren and his staff over the past couple weeks. But they are expecting to be busy during next week’s Winter Meetings in Dallas.

The Braves are still willing to listen to offers for Martin Prado and Jair Jurrjens and there are teams still showing definite interest in both players.  But interested clubs have come to realize Wren is only interested in trading Prado or Jurrjens if he gains a significant return.

Wren has said he is not looking to move a particular player or reduce his payroll.  But if he sees an opportunity to significantly improve his club with a trade, he will make a deal.  Most likely, that deal would involve either Jurrjens or Prado.

The demand for Jurrjens will likely increase once C.J. Wilson and Mark Buehrle, this year’s top free-agent starting pitchers, decide where they will be pitching next year.

The Rangers, Yankees, Marlins are among the teams that are expected to talk to the Braves about Jurrjens.

The Braves are evaluating options to acquire an outfielder with power potential and also still discussing potential replacements for free agent shortstop Alex Gonzalez, who is expected to sign a multi-year deal elsewhere.

It seems like the Braves will be content to go to Spring Training with Tyler Pastornicky as their projected starting shortstop.  They are currently looking to sign a free agent like Jack Wilson or possibly Edgar Renteria to serve as a backup and insurance in the event that Pastornicky is not ready.

With Pastornicky and Andrelton Simmons in their system, the Braves are not looking to make a long-term commitment to a veteran shortstop.  Simmons, who is considered one of the game’s top defensive shortstop prospects, might be ready to make the jump to the Majors after the All-Star break.

The Braves are not currently showing much interest to outfielders on the free agent market. If they end up acquiring an impact bat in the form of outfielder this winter, they believe they could do so via a trade involving either Jurrjens or Prado.  –  Mark Bowman

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