CHOP SHOP: Braves relatively quiet during Winter Meetings

The Atlanta Braves left the winter meetings without the addition of a big bat and with the starting rotation still together. Rumors circulated the team was looking for a big bat in a corner outfield spot or perhaps a platoon-mate for Martin Prado, should he still be with the team on Opening Day. Jair Jurrjens was also not moved by Braves GM Frank Wren, despite the upcoming raise due from arbitration for the All-Star pitcher. Jurrjens may still be moved by spring training, though many pundits putting together the starting rotation are neglecting to include a key member from two years ago. Kris Medlen will likely be battling for a spot in the starting rotation and based on his numbers from two years ago, manager Fredi Gonzalez should give him a hard look after Tim Hudson and Tommy Hanson in the rotation, assuming Jurrjens is moved. Medlen was 5-0 as a starter and the team was 13-1 in games that he started. Mike Minor, Brandon Beachy, Randall Delgado and Julio Teheran will likely battle for the final two rotation spots with the two that don’t win out heading down to Class AAA Gwinnett or the bullpen. Arodys Vizcaino is a strong candidate to serve Atlanta in the bullpen in 2012.

The Braves did make one move during the Winter Meetings, selecting Robert Fish from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the Rule 5 draft. Fish, a 23-year-old left-hander, was claimed for $50,000 by Atlanta from the Angels Triple-A roster and must stay on the Braves 25-man roster all season. If he is not present on the roster for all of the 2012 season, the Braves must offer him back to the Angels for $25,000. Last season he pitched mostly in Class AA, ranking up 44 strikeouts to just 18 walks with a 2.97 ERA. Atlanta now boasts Eric O’Flaherty, Jonny Venters and Fish, all lefties out of the bullpen. George Sherrill, another left-handed reliever, will likely not be resigned.

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