Braves agree to one-year deal with Prado
Locked up through 2012, utility man avoids salary arbitration
ATLANTA -- There is still a slight chance the Braves could trade Martin Prado before the start of the regular season. But the utility man no longer has to worry about going through the arbitration process.
Prado and the Braves have avoided arbitration by agreeing to terms of a one-year, $4.75 million contract. The 28-year-old infielder made $3.1 million this past year and has one arbitration-eligible season remaining.
While this contract does not eliminate the possibility that the Braves could still trade Prado, the odds of him being dealt have diminished over the past couple months.
The Tigers and Rockies were among the teams showing interest in Prado. But the Braves proved their claims that they would not deal him or Jair Jurrjens unless they were provided a significant offer.
Prado is coming off the most disappointing season of his young career. He batted .260 with 13 homers, a .302 on-base percentage and .385 slugging percentage in 2011.
While earning his first All-Star selection in 2010, Prado batted .307 with 15 homers, a .350 on-base percentage and .459 slugging percentage.
Prado tore an oblique muscle and suffered a hip pointer during the final week of the 2010 season and, six weeks later, learned that he would have to switch from second base to left field to make room for Dan Uggla. He struggled to find comfort during the early portion of this past season, then continued to disappoint after missing a month with a staph infection that was found in early June.
The Braves still have three unsigned arbitration-eligible players -- Jurrjens, Eric O'Flaherty and Michael Bourn.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.