According to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com, the Atlanta Braves and starting pitcher Jair Jurrjens have agreed to a one-year $3.25 million contract for 2011, avoiding arbitration. Jurrjens is in his first year of arbitration, and received an almost $3 million raise from his 2010 salary of $480,000.
David O'Brien is reporting that the Braves have also agreed to a one-year contract with
second baseman third baseman left fielder Martin Prado. His deal is worth $3.1 million, a big raise from his $440,000 salary last year.
Good to see the Braves agreeing so quickly with at least two of their arbitration eligible players. Relievers Peter Moylan and Eric O'Flaherty are the Braves only remaining arbitration eligible players.
I don't think the Braves will try and sign either of these players long term, at least not for another couple of years, if that. Jurrjens likely becomes too expensive next year (remember, he's a Scott Boras client), and more expendable due to the anticipated arrival of Julio Teheran and Randall Delgado. The Dan Uggla deal makes Prado a bit more expendable, though until an heir apparent to Chipper Jones is found, Prado will still be a necessary part of the Braves.
One of the things that's not talked about when a player moves to a less premium position is the kind of money they're leaving on the table. Prado moved from a premium position at second base, where he was an All-Star, to left field, where he will likely be a good player for the position, but not a prolific slugger-type that usually makes All-Star teams and can command Werthian contracts. He's certainly more valuable on the open market as an infielder. Of course, Mark DeRosa carved out a nice role for himself as a super-utility everyday player. Prado could certainly be the best of that group. Food for thought...