Atlanta Braves Trade Rumors: Club Must Settle Jair Jurrjens' Future

Kevin Van PeltCorrespondent IMay 10, 2012

ATLANTA - APRIL 18: Jair Jurrjens #49 of the Atlanta Braves pitches against the New York Mets at Turner Field on April 18, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Jair Jurrjens, the Atlanta Braves' $5.5 million pitcher is in the minor leagues right now because, as manager Fredi Gonzalez said, "he's a minor league player right now," according to Mark Bowman of

The Braves were close to trading Jurrjens last season to the Cincinnati Reds, also according to Bowman, but the deal didn't work out after the Reds made a deal with the San Diego Padres to get pitcher Mat Latos.

Jurrjens' velocity has dropped since he had a knee injury in 2010, and he has struggled with his command. The Braves already tried to move Jurrjens out of the organization, so it is clear they will not be too worried if they lose him.

He has had a couple of impressive starts in the minors since being demoted, but that doesn't say much for his career with the Braves, as he still needs to prove himself again.

At this point, the money he earns doesn't match his performance and Atlanta needs to find any suitor they can to take him off their hands. At this point they can't worry about what they will get in return—they just have to focus on trading him to someone.

Situations like these sometimes require a player to just find a new place to play to fix their problems. Jurrjens needs that now more than ever. He already feels unwanted by the Braves, and the fans are fed up with his lousy performances. If he gets a shaky start returning to the Braves, the fans will be all over him and his confidence will be crushed.

Teams who are struggling with pitching or who can use a recognizable name will be more willing to trade for a player like Jurrjens, whether to create ticket sales or hope for him to return to form.

The Reds would be a good option for the Braves to contact again to see if they want to start working on another deal. The Reds have great hitting with Joey Votto and Jay Bruce, but they still need more depth at pitching and the low price of Jurrjens makes the trade easier for them.

If the Braves can't trade Jurrjens, then it is time they let him go. He is clearly not going to return to his old form with the Braves, as his velocity is already down and he is too injury-prone. It will be hard for the Braves organization to make this decision, considering that he was supposed to be the future of the Braves pitching staff.

Right now Jurrjens is in limbo. The Braves don't want him in the minors, but they are afraid to get rid of him because of who he used to be. The organization needs to forget about all of that and just trade him now or get rid of him. No team wants to have a player who makes $5.5 million play in the minor leagues, and the Braves shouldn't waste his time down there.

For the sake of everyone involved, the Atlanta Braves need to bring Jurrjens back to the starting rotation or get rid of him now.