The Tigers didn’t waste any time making the first big Hot Stove deal — assuming you don’t count the Alex Rodriguez opt-out — by trading for Edgar Renteria. The Braves receive Jair Jurrjens and Gorkys Hernandez in return.
I checked with BP prospect guru Kevin Goldstein who said, “Jurrjens is just 21 years old and has already proven the ability to hold his own in the big leagues. The Curacao native isn’t especially big or projectable, but what he is now is pretty darn good, as he throws a low 90s fastball, decent slider, and deceptive changeup. Scouts do wonder is he has a big league out pitch and see him as more of a No. 4 starter type – a role the Braves could use him in immediately.
“Hernandez hit .293/.344/.391 in the Midwest League this year for his full-season debut while also leading the Midwest League with 54 stolen bases. He’s an absolutely burner on the base paths, and also a spectacular center fielder with a plus arm. Despite the numbers, he’s still more tools than performance. He needs to either hone his approach to develop into a leadoff man, or develop more power (the bat speed is there) to become a dynamic power/speed combo. Very high upside, but obviously some risk. He’ll likely begin next year at High A Myrtle Beach.
Both players were going to be slam dunk top five prospects on the upcoming Detroit prospect rankings.”
Frank Wren’s first deal as Braves GM was made with his former boss in Florida, Dave Dombrowski, though sources tell me that this deal began with John Schuerholz and was discussed as far back as the trading deadline. The deal’s timing may have been a surprise, but off-loading Renteria and his $9m contract (plus $11m option for 2009) is one many had anticipated. The move solidifies the Tigers middle infield after moving Carlos Guillen to first and quickly shuts off the bubbling rumors of Alex Rodriguez to Detroit. For the Braves, this opens up a spot for Yunel Escobar, though Brent Lillibridge is still blocked unless a move to CF is made.