• Exclusives

    3 Trades Braves Should Consider: Trade #3

    By Jim Pratt

    Editor’s note: Recently, BravesWire writer, Jim Pratt, proposed the first of three trades he says the Braves should consider. See links to parts 1-2 below. 

    TRADE #1 >>> | TRADE #2 >>>

    Braves OF Martin Prado

    Even though Braves’ left fielder, Martin Prado, is playing out of position, his worth is not limited to his outfield production.  The safety net of having him on the roster to fill in when Chipper Jones needs a day off at third base makes his value to the Braves greater than anything they would get back for him in a trade.

    The odds of a trade involving Prado were reduced considerably when the Colorado Rockies dealt outfielder Seth Smith to the Oakland A’s. With the impending free agency of Michael Bourn, the Braves were looking to get one of the Rockies young center field prospects included in any deal for Smith. That would have made the back-up plan at third base a major concern for Atlanta. If Prado becomes part of any deal to land a left field bat, getting back a reserve glove at third base is a must. Detroit is one of the few trade partners left that might be willing to fill the Braves need in the outfield while also having the ideal super utility man to replace Prado.

    Deal #3) Detroit Tigers: Martin Prado for Delmon Young and Don Kelly

    This trade scenario is not as high profile as the other two mentioned, but it could provide what the Braves need in left field while replacing Martin Prado’s versatility and keeping Jair Jurrjens in the Atlanta rotation. Two conclusions can be drawn from the trade rumors coming out of Detroit this off-season. The first is that the Tigers front office is willing to trade outfielder Delmon Young.  The other is that they want someone not named Ramon Santiago as their everyday second baseman.

    In previous trade talks, the Tigers showed a willingness to trade Young in a deal for Prado, but the Braves wanted more in return. Atlanta might be inclined to ask for third base prospect Nick Castellanos or pitcher Jacob Turner, but the likelihood they would be willing to pay the return price the Tigers would want makes those additions to any trade not worth discussing.

    Twins OF Delmon Young

    Young has not been the prototypical power presence an outfielder should be in a lineup over the course of his career, but a duplication of the stat line he put up in 2010 while playing for the Minnesota Twins (.298/.333/.493, 21 HR, 112 RBI and 46 doubles) is possible if you consider he is still only 26 years old.

    While Young might be the centerpiece of this deal, Don Kelly’s ability to replace the glove of Prado is key. He won’t put up the offensive numbers of Prado, but that’s not his role in this trade. In 2011, Kelly played 60 games in the OF, 45 at 3B, 15 at 1B and even played one game each at catcher and RP. Given 250+ plate appearances, he should post 7-9 HR and 30 RBI.

    Atlanta’s front office has options and that in itself is a huge advantage over many clubs. They have the ability to do nothing this off-season and still contend, but it’s hard to imagine remaining silent in the trade market will bring a World Series Championship to Atlanta.

    P.S. Before you go, check out the Lineup Card on the BravesWire homepage with headlines from over a dozen Braves news/opinion sources.

    Follow Jim Pratt on Twitter: @2OutSacBunt …and BravesWire: @TheBravesWire