Time for Braves, Martin Prado reunion might have passed

Dec 12, 2017
Miami Marlins' Martin Prado walks to the dugout after the first inning in which he hit a single to score teammate Dee Gordon in a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves in Atlanta, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Could the Braves reunite with fan-favorite Martin Prado? Don’t bet on it, at least at his current price.

Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reported Tuesday the Braves could have interest in the Marlins infielder.

Prado played for the Braves from 2006-12. As an everyday player from 2009-12, he hit over .300 three times. His versatility and play style made him one of the most beloved Braves over that period.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s David O’Brien tempered some’s nostalgia in pointing out Prado’s injury history and price tag don’t fit the 2018 Braves.

O’Brien makes a strong point: Prado is due $13.5 million next season and $15 million in 2019, in addition to a $1 million trade bonus.

Prado was limited to 37 games last season with hamstring and knee injuries. Generally considered a good defender (he had three defensive runs saved last season), the recent issues, in addition to being 34 years old, are enough reason for pause. The Braves are emphasizing defensive improvement, and while Prado appears to be a remedy on paper, acquiring a player with current knee problems to fix the defense would be unconventional.

But Prado is an easy sell to fans and a highly regarded clubhouse presence, two areas in which the Braves could use help. 

The catch, as usual, is money. Even if the Braves see value in Prado, his price tag would scare them away. The Marlins would need to eat a portion of the salary, and after already absorbing $30 million to execute the Giancarlo Stanton deal, the Fish might not be eager to pay another player to play for someone else.

Ultimately, the alternatives make more sense than a Prado reunion. But it’s Dec. 12, the second day of the winter meetings. Plenty could change.