Saturday, January 14, 2012

Jack Wilson Returns On One-Year Deal; Martin Prado Avoids Arb

The Braves brought back reserve shortstop Jack Wilson on a one-year deal worth $1 million, with $500,000 in possible incentives. Not much to say here, but this might be the best part of the deal:

Long before the Braves called, Wilson was already providing that. After the Braves lost to the Phillies to end the season – the one and only night of Pastornicky’s call-up – Wilson and Pastornicky got to talking about defense. Wilson invited Pastornicky to come to his home in Thousand Oaks, Calif. to work out in his backyard infield, which they plan to do early next month.

“When I first came up, I had Pat Meares who took me under his wing,” said Wilson, who broke in with the Pirates. “He’d been a major league shortstop for nine or 10 years. Now you have an opportunity to do what somebody did for you. Tyler seems like a great kid, and I’m looking forward to helping him out any way I can.”

The Braves wanted a backup shortstop capable of providing solid defense while showing Tyler Pastornicky a thing or two, and who better than the guy they traded for the previous season? Wilson can still provide solid defense in a pinch, and he seems willing to take on the role of mentor for the rookie.

The Braves also re-signed Martin Prado to a one-year deal to avoid arbitration, earning him an average salary for the production. This doesn't affect trade possibilities, but the chances of either Prado or Jair Jurrjens, or both, to be traded before spring seem less likely by the day. Frank Wren acknowledged just that. At this point, unless a team flies in at the last minute, I don't see them going anywhere.

The remaining arb-eligible Braves are Jurrjens, Michael Bourn and Eric O'Flaherty.

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