Q: Should the Braves trade Jair Jurrjens? A: Are you NUTS?

Better trade this guy before he breaks too many records. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

Better trade this guy before he messes up and breaks too many records. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

Usually Braves fans posit trades in this fanciful way: “Greg Norton for Albert Pujols — that’d be a great move!” But here, courtesy of Buster Olney and his ESPN Insider blog, we have something different. We have baseball people asking if the Braves would consider trading Jair Jurrjens.

Writes Olney (link requires registration):

Some rival executives have wondered if that pitching depth would allow Atlanta to consider a very bold move with a pitcher whose stock has reached its zenith — Jair Jurrjens, who is 10-3 with a 2.07 ERA and a midseason candidate for the Cy Young Award. If the Braves actually dangled Jurrjens in the market, they could put themselves in position to get an impact offensive position player in return.

Just to reiterate: All the discussion among rival evaluators about Jurrjens is pure speculation.

Well, thank heavens. The Braves have had many good pitchers over the past 20 years, but not many have ever been better over half a season than J.J. in the year 2011. As Joe Lemire notes on SI.com, since 1990 only four starting pitchers have finished a season with an ERA under 2.00 — Greg Maddux twice, Pedro Martinez twice, Roger Clemens twice and Kevin Brown once. Jurrjens is, as Olney mentioned, at 2.07.

Oh, and there’s this: He’s 25 years old! He’s arbitration-eligible again after this season — he and the Braves settled for $3.25 million over the winter — but he won’t be eligible to become a free agent until after the 2013 season. (Yes, his agent is Scott Boras.) He can be the ace of this superb staff for at least two more years.

I know, I know. His trade value will never be higher than it is today. Neither will Brian McCann’s, and I’d suggest the Braves hang on to him, too.

As for Kenshin Kawakami … I might part with him if the Rangers offered Josh Hamilton. Might, I said.

By Mark Bradley

270 comments Add your comment

Jamaaliver

June 30th, 2011
2:03 pm

Geez, Mark. I’ve been waiting on a new article, literally all day.

Mark Bradley

June 30th, 2011
2:04 pm

Sorry, Jamaaliver. Moving slowly today.

Hankie Aron

June 30th, 2011
2:08 pm

Beat me by a nose again MB

Hankie Aron

June 30th, 2011
2:09 pm

This silver medal is a heavy one though

Mark Bradley

June 30th, 2011
2:09 pm

I know the feeling, Hankie.

Pudge

June 30th, 2011
2:10 pm

I was an advocate for trading JJ before the season started. After the year he’s had so far, I’ve definitely changed my mind. Tommy Hanson on the other hand…

59bulldawg

June 30th, 2011
2:11 pm

Holy John Smoltz! Are you kidding me? I want Jurrjens to be here longterm. Have you seen how he mentors young pitchers? He’s an asset to the organization for more than just his pitching.

ChopAttack

June 30th, 2011
2:13 pm

I’d assume Lowe is gone after this season. That still leaves 5 spots for 8 guys. JJ, Hanson, Hudson, Medlen, Beachy, Minor, Delgado, Teheran. Minor is likely trade bait.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

June 30th, 2011
2:14 pm

if and only if he can keep up what he’s put together so far in the long run. my only concern is come 2014, what will his satan of agent demand for JJ?? you could package KK, McClouth & maybe Minor for some offensive player.

ChopAttack

June 30th, 2011
2:15 pm

Hypothetically, if the Braves traded JJ where would the bat play? The two positions that can be upgraded on offense are SS and CF. I don’t foresee a big trade this season.

really???

June 30th, 2011
2:16 pm

Well, considering that most of the comments I see in the Vent tell me that the Braves suck out loud and that they are failing miserably this season, I think a firesale is in order. We can surely get some bats, balls, and maybe even a draft pick or two if we trade Jurrgens, McCann, Freeman, Heyward, Prado, Hanson, Hudson, and Chipper. Heck, we might even get a centerfielder if we tried hard enough.

Willy

June 30th, 2011
2:16 pm

Jair Jurrjens for Albert Puljos and all the beachfront property in the Dominican Republic.

ChopAttack

June 30th, 2011
2:19 pm

@Dr. Kenneth Noisewater “You could package KK, McClouth & maybe Minor for some offensive player.

Combine those three and you get zilch. No one wants McLouth or KK for any reason or any trade. Minor by himself would be better.

Jamaaliver

June 30th, 2011
2:19 pm

If we had ownership committed to consistently putting a contender on the field, as oppsoed to only worrying about the bottom line, then I’d say ‘YES’. A resounding ‘YES’.

A big bat in the order, a dependable one, would put us in the same air as Boston, NYY and the Phillies. We’re soooo close.

But three more years of J Jurrjens is far from a terrible alternative.

Casey

June 30th, 2011
2:19 pm

Why trade him? He’s a potential ace. He was the ace on this staff a couple years ago. He’s still young. If anyone goes, it should be Lowe or KK. Keep the young pitching. Young pitching is an advantage!!!

59bulldawg

June 30th, 2011
2:20 pm

I’d say Minor for sure! Beachy has passed him by. Will both Degado and Teheran be ready for the bigs next season? Can’t remember when Medlen is expected to return. Will it be this season? Would like to see how he pitches after his surgery. There were time last season when I thought he was one of the two best pitchers on the staff. We definitely have room to maneuver . . . but definitely not JJ!

Brad Markley

June 30th, 2011
2:22 pm

If the Braves are going to deal a pitcher, JJ makes the most sense.

Lowe is too expensive, no team will take him. Huddy is too old, any team that takes him won’t be willing to part with much. Beachy/Minor make for good trade bait, but they won’t net you a big time player, just another role player on a team full of them.

That leaves you with Teheran (who is, rightfully, untouchable), Delgado (who should be considered untouchable as well), Hanson and Jurrjens. Hanson is cheaper, younger, and under team control for longer… ergo you trade Jurrjens.

Why trade JJ? Because he can get you a big return (Upton, Kemp, Ethier) as opposed to a tiny return (Pence, Bourn, Ludwick).

Now if I were Frank Wren, I wouldn’t move Jurrjens. This team is good enough with everyone healthy (and I’m considering Uggla’s sucking a disease). The real moves that Wren needs to make are for a right handed version of Hinske, a better middle infielder off the bench, and another reliever to prevent us from destroing Jonny Venters (Moylan and Medlen’s return might be sufficient in that regard).

However, I can see why one would want to move JJ. This lineup becomes a lot more intimidating with a big name in it.

Could you imagine: Prado (LF), Heyward (RF), Jones (3B), Kemp (CF), McCann (C), Uggla (2B), Freeman (1B), Gonzalez (SS)?

DHD

June 30th, 2011
2:24 pm

It depends on who you got in return. Any trade that can make your team better is worthy of consideration.

trade him

June 30th, 2011
2:24 pm

trade him now while we can…he is great but we need some more pop…how bout for Reyes? slide Schafer to eighth, problem solved. Mcclouth is horrible, had one good season.

Chief Tradapitcha

June 30th, 2011
2:24 pm

Boy, are you STUPID??

Bill

June 30th, 2011
2:27 pm

Agree Mark…How many times have we traded someone that become Stars somewhere else. However to get something you got to give up something. It better be equal value.
KK for Hamilton..LOL… I’ll take the deal!

Peter

June 30th, 2011
2:27 pm

Why do we have to make a trade right now? The offense is going to come around. I don’t want to give anyone of those guys up for some half season rental. With Schafer and Prado 1-2, followed by McCann, Chipper, Freeman, Heyward, and Uggla this lineup is going to be very potent. I wouldn’t mind getting a right handed hitter off the bench or another middle reliever to get the big 3 some occasional rest.

ncb34

June 30th, 2011
2:27 pm

while i agree, we shoud keep jj. but what about jj and gonzo for reyes?.. atleast worth a thought.

Sonny Clusters

June 30th, 2011
2:27 pm

We was thinking the same thing. Clusters would normally say you can’t have too much pitching but Clusters would also say you have to have some hitting to go along with the pitching. We was wondering if there will be extra security at the game on Dan Uggla Bobblehead NIght? We can see a whole lot of Bobbleheads on the field that night. Speaking of Bobbleheads . . . do the players model for those little statues? And if so, wouldn’t Bobbleheading put Chipper on the DL?

59bulldawg

June 30th, 2011
2:28 pm

I agree with Peter!

Lowcountry Bulldawg

June 30th, 2011
2:29 pm

Lowe,Hudson,Hanson,JJ,Beachy,Minor,Teheren…..

Thats 6 arms….JJ possibly can bring you a legitimate impact player everyday. Not just once every 5 days. In the playoffs pitching rules supreme, but you have to be able to score some runs aswell. If you can bring in a impact player at SS,3B,LF then it may have to be looked at. A playoff rotation of Hanson,Hudson,Lowe,Beachy is still in the upper echelon of baseball. Then next year you work on either Minor, Teheren for the 5th starter.

His stats dictate that you do not though. 8th best home run allowed rate, best BABIP % on the staff, only getting 3.86 R/S. He is not doing this with smoking mirrors. That is why if the Braves ever entertained the move it would take a haul. It would have to be a impact MLB along with impact lower minor league type prospects.

I could never see Wren making the move, but it could not be scoffed at with the Pitching depth the Braves have coupled with the offensive wows that are prevelant.

Sonny Clusters

June 30th, 2011
2:29 pm

We was censored!

JC Boscan III

June 30th, 2011
2:30 pm

No, let’s keep Jurrjens. But, in the spirit of some of the trades suggested by fans, why not package Julio Lugo, Kawakami, Nate McLouth and yours truly (almost), JC Boscan, and let the Astros give us Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn…!? Might as well…………

……Or, we can offer the same group to the Marlins for that slugging 2nd baseman of theirs, the one that always kills the Braves….what’s his name….oh yeah, Dan Uggl……. oh wait…………. NEVER MIND….

Bill

June 30th, 2011
2:33 pm

Reyes will be a free agent, we don’t want a 2 month rental trade. Like we did with Texas few years back.

Brad Markley

June 30th, 2011
2:33 pm

It should be said that, given their financial uncertainty, the Dodgers are not parting with Kemp or Ethier.

Sonny Clusters

June 30th, 2011
2:34 pm

Dan Uggla should be getting started about tomorrow because tomorrow is July! Slow starting is one thing but not starting at all is something else. We was wondering if Dan Uggla might have hemorroids because they slowed down Georg Brett one time and nobody would talk about it for awhile because it was hemorroids. Mark, can you ask around?

beauvighn

June 30th, 2011
2:36 pm

Unless Arthur Blank buys the Braves, the Braves will be unable to afford JJ when his contract expires..Scott Boras will be looking for the richest contract in league history for JJ and unless we have an owner who is willing to spend money, he will be gone..JJ is the rock of the rotation right now but if he plays out the contract, we will be left with nothing…BTW, I wouldn’t urinate on Scott Boras if he was on fire..

Skeezix

June 30th, 2011
2:37 pm

Trade J.J.? You gotta be kidding me? Surely FW isn’t that daft. If they trade him I’ll be angrier than I was when they let Jermaine Dye go.

Trade J.J.? No,no,no,no,no…..very bad idea.

Andy

June 30th, 2011
2:38 pm

You make it sound like equal value for Jurrjens does not exist. Trading him for prospects is probably unwise at this point, but if you can return an equally talented outfielder who’s also under team control for three years, the team benefits more. Not many players fit that description, but no player should be considered untouchable.

Cagey Veteran

June 30th, 2011
2:40 pm

I love Jair, no way I’d trade him! I sure hope he can stay healthy though.

BTW Mark, I gotta tip my hat to the Phillies’ Cliff Lee. Not sure if I can recall a better month from a pitcher. One earned run in 42 innings with 29 Ks.

As Dean Wormer said, “I hate those guys”.

Joes Johnson

June 30th, 2011
2:41 pm

I would trade for Reyes in a heart beat…. IF he had more than the rest of the year left on his contract. He would be perfect for this team but hes gonna hit free agency next year and see what he can get. Which will be a ton. If we trade JJ for some one, it needs to be for someone who either has a few more years on their contract of someone we could extend. And thats just too many if’s when you consider we could only really improve at maybe 2 different positions. And with Reyes not really a possibility there is no one else at SS that could help.

Bryan G.

June 30th, 2011
2:41 pm

Sure, in a vacuum don’t trade him. But if the mets want to send us Reyes, a reliever, and a bench guy…um, maybe.

ryanomite

June 30th, 2011
2:42 pm

Leave it to ESPN to pull crap out of thin air.

i'm swiss

June 30th, 2011
2:42 pm

“Lowe,Hudson,Hanson,JJ,Beachy,Minor,Teheren…..

Thats 6 arms….”

Not to nitpick, but that’s actually 7 pitchers. And 14 arms. ;-)

o-me

June 30th, 2011
2:44 pm

new law starts July 1..all children under the age of 8 are required to ride in the back seat of car or boster seat. $100 fine and 2 points against license. Just thought everyone should know.

If you trade JJ make damn sure you get someone that will be here and has value. Not here today and gone tomorrow.

George Brett

June 30th, 2011
2:46 pm

If Uggla had hemorroids he’d be taking a wider stance and running bowlegged.

Mike

June 30th, 2011
2:49 pm

I get so sick of all this talk from people that say we should trade Tommy or JJ because their stock is high. Imagine if we had traded Smoltz or Glavine because they had high stock? You don’t trade players like that unless you are a small team building for the future, which we are not. You SIGN guys like that. I don’t care if Boras is JJ’s agent. So was another guy from Curacao…Andrew Jones. And I seem to remember him staying with us regardless of what Boras wanted.

Our young talent like Terahan, Delgado, Visciano, and Minor are no sure things. Plus Hudson AND Lowe will be off the books soon and we will need two more guys then. We have Chipper, Lowe, and Hudson money coming off the books by the time we need to sign guys like Hanson and JJ, and not a whole lot of other positions of need.

Everybody chill out with the trade our ace pitcher crap.

cajdawg

June 30th, 2011
2:50 pm

If pitching were breasts, the Braves would be Dolly Parton.

ByteMe

June 30th, 2011
2:51 pm

I’d dangle Lowe instead. Someone’s gonna need an arm that can eat up innings and might be willing to danlge some high-AAA speed+bat who could play… hmm… there’s the problem. There aren’t enough positions open.

chc4

June 30th, 2011
2:51 pm

I’m not saying we should trade JJ but think back to last year. He was hurt/totally ineffective. He’s had a fantastic first half of 2011. If the Braves think he will regress back to the mean then dangling him in a deal isn’t such a crazy thought. The return would need to be huge though.

Jeremiah Weed

June 30th, 2011
2:53 pm

Keep JJ…. pitching is the reason why we are in the wild card lead now.

Skeezix

June 30th, 2011
2:54 pm

In a year when you already have a rotation that provides a real opportunity to do something special, like win a pennant or a World Series, you don’t trade your ace.

The Lemmer

June 30th, 2011
2:55 pm

Stop with the KK, McOut, & Minor garbage, nobody wants to take out our trash, trading them would net us nada!!! How bout JJ & Heyward for Kemp & Eithier? An oufield of Prado in left, Kemp in center, Eithier in right? OMG even Fredi couldnt screw up that lineup!!!!

Sonny Clusters

June 30th, 2011
2:57 pm

If it is hemorroids somebody needs to tell Dave Pursley. We would not want to be the trainer that had to deal with that.

ByteMe

June 30th, 2011
2:58 pm

Dolly Parton has 6 strong breasts??