According to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com, the Atlanta Braves and Colorado Rockies are still discussing a deal involving utility many Martin Prado. However, the Rockies apparently turned down the Braves most recent proposal in which they were asking for Seth Smith and top prospect Nolan Arenado in return for Prado.
Atlanta has made it known that Prado is available this winter for the right price, and the versatile player has drawn interest from the Rockies and Tigers. While there were rumors that the Tigers and Braves were looking into a swap of Prado and outfielder Delmon Young, most of the trade talk surrounding Prado has involved the Rockies.
Seth Smith seems to come up in every reported deal, but he alone is not enough. The second trade chip is what’s holding up a trade, as the Braves have been requesting several of Colorado’s top young prospects.
Tim Wheeler and Charlie Blackmon, both center fielders, were the first names to surface. Atlanta is said to be looking for a young center fielder that could replace Michael Bourn if he proves too costly in the future. At this time, the Rockies don’t have any interest in trading either player.
Turning their attention away from CF, the Braves have recently requested Rockies top prospect Nolan Arenado in return for Prado. This proposal appears even more far-fetched than Atlanta’s prior requests for Blackmon and Wheeler.
Arenado entered the 2011 season ranked as one of Baseball America’s top 100 prospects. The 20-year-old third baseman only helped his stock last season, hitting at a clip of .298/.349/.487 for the Rockies High-A affiliate. Arenado tallied 32 doubles, 20 home runs and a whopping 122 RBI’s.
While Prado certainly has his value, the Braves asking price will have to come down a little bit. Atlanta is looking to move the utility player while his stock is high. Prado’s bat plays well at second base, but the Braves already have that as well as third base, the 28-year-old’s other primary position, covered in 2012. Because his bat doesn’t play as well in left field, the Braves may elect to take what they can get for him and shed his estimated $5 million 2012 salary from their books.