MLB Trade Rumors: 5 Reasons Why Atlanta's Jair Jurrjens Needs to Be Traded Away

Jonah P DAnalyst IDecember 26, 2011

MLB Trade Rumors: 5 Reasons Why Atlanta's Jair Jurrjens Needs to Be Traded Away

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    The Atlanta Braves have one of the most popular players on the trade market in Jair Jurrjens.

    After the Braves' shocking collapse, it is important that they upgrade their team in order for them to recover.

    Trading Jurrjens is their best chance for improvement this offseason.

    Here are the five main reasons why the Braves need to trade him away.

Braves Have More Than Enough Young Pitching

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    If the Braves do trade Jair Jurrjens away, it shouldn't be too much of a blow to their pitching staff.

    Assuming Tim Hudson and Tommy Hanson will have returned to full health by the beginning of the 2012 season, the Braves will have one of the best pitching staffs in baseball.

    This is because of the incredible amount of pitching depth from their farm system.

    Without Jurrjens, their pitching staff will most likely be, in order: Hudson, Hanson, Brandon Beachy, Julio Teheran and Mike Minor.

    Competing for the fifth spot will be Randall Delgado, and if necessary, relievers Arodys Vizcaino and Kris Medlen are capable of starting.

    This pitching staff, even with the absence of Jurrjens, will be able to compete with the best, and has no shortage of potential aces.

Jurrjens' Injury Concern

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    During much of his career, Jair Jurrjens has struggled to stay healthy.

    When he is fully healthy, he has displayed the potential to become one of the best pitchers in baseball. In 2009, he posted a 14-10 record and an ERA of 2.60.

    However, in 2010 Jurrjens only managed to start 20 games due to injuries, and his injuries affected games in which he did start, as he regressed to a 7-6 record with a 4.64 ERA.

    The injury bug continued in 2011, where he pitched in only 23 games, once again as a result of the same knee injury, although his numbers improved to a record of 13-6 with an ERA of 2.96.

    These are both very impressive, although much less impressive when compared to his pre-All Star ERA of 1.87 and 12-3 record.

    Jurrjens obviously has tons of potential, although if he doesn't manage to stay healthy, he is not nearly as helpful to the Braves' team.

Braves Need Offense

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    The Braves' need for offense easily outweighs their need for another young arm.

    They have an excessive amount of young pitchers while their offensive production from the outfield is very limited.

    The Braves current outfield lineup is Martin Prado in LF, Michael Bourn in CF and Jason Heyward in RF.

    However, Prado is needed more as a utility man, as he is capable of playing nearly every position. With the injury concerns of Chipper Jones, and the need for backup from other positions, Prado is unlikely to return as a starting outfielder.

    Heyward had an awful season in 2011, batting only .227, and if he doesn't return to form, this will be a concern to the team.

    Bourn may be with the Braves for only one more season, as his contract expires then.

    If the Braves do not manage to acquire a productive outfielder, they should try for an outfield prospect with lots of potential to replace Bourn.

Braves Are Short on Money

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    By trading away Jair Jurrjens, the Braves would save a considerable amount of money.

    He will receive an estimated $6 million in 2012 after arbitration, and being a client of Scott Boras, the Braves may not keep Jurrjens for long after that.

    On ajc.com, David O'Brien explained at length why the Braves do not have much money to spend this offseason.

    Trading away Jurrjens would leave them with slightly more freedom financially and also would benefit them from the player they would receive.

Jurrjens Is the Braves' Most Expendable Player

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    Along with Jair Jurrjens, Martin Prado has appeared in many trade rumors during the past few months.

    Prado and Jurrjens are the only players who would seriously benefit the Braves by being traded away.

    However, Jurrjens is much more expendable than Prado.

    Jurrjens can easily be replaced by his teammates, who have a lot of potential.

    Prado's skills are very necessary to the Braves because of his ability to play 1B, 2B, 3B, LF and RF, as well as SS and CF if necessary.

    This, coupled with his career BA of .293, makes him nearly priceless to the Braves, and especially this season, with the team's injury concerns and need for offense.

    If the Braves are to make a trade this offseason, Jair Jurrjens is the best candidate to center it around.