After a few years of being mentioned in trade rumors, it looks like current Atlanta Braves left fielder (and heir apparent to Chipper Jones) Martin Prado will be staying with the club...at least if the Braves get their way.
And the move couldn't come at a better time for the Braves.
According to a tweet by ESPN's Buster Olney:
The Braves are going to try to sign Martin Prado to a multi-year deal, given his current standing as heir to Chipper Jones's spot at third.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 17, 2012
All I have to say is, it's about time.
Prado has been one of the more consistent players on the Braves roster and no doubt deserves a multi-year extension from them. I'm sure other teams would have no problem giving him one.
Rumored to be on the block during the offseason, it seemed like the Braves were close to pulling off a trade with the Colorado Rockies for outfielder Seth Smith. But for some reason, terms of a deal could never be fully worked out, and the trade fell dead.
Now, that move seems to be a blessing in disguise given that Prado has been one of the best hitters on the Braves this year.
Is signing Martin Prado to a multi-year contract imperative for the Braves?
Currently batting .318 with five home runs and 39 RBI, Prado gives the Braves a solid No. 2 hitter behind Michael Bourn.
And, given the fact that he is ultra-versatile, he gives the Braves options when it comes to the lineup.
For instance, when Jack Wilson injured his thumb at shortstop and Andrelton Simmons was already on the disabled list, Prado moved to shortstop for a few games to solidify that position.
Next year, when Jones retires, the Braves can slot Prado in at third base and then go look for an outfielder on the open market.
Honestly, I think it's a lot easier to find a decent left fielder than a decent third baseman.
Keep in mind, however, that if this does happen (or the Braves take Prado off the trade block), Arizona outfielder Justin Upton will not be coming to Atlanta.
Of course, this is all a given if the Braves can sign Prado to a multi-year deal, which I think they will.
Most of all, signing Prado to a multi-year deal will allow the Braves to put money toward re-signing Michael Bourn (instead of going after David Wright) and then to go after a good option in left field.
If, and only if, these pieces can fall into place, we Braves fans will be able to breathe a sigh of relief in knowing that we'll have a good offense for many years to come.