12/09/10 12:45 PM EST
Wren, Braves leave Meetings very satisfied
By Mark Bowman / MLB.com
But by the time Friday arrives, Wren will likely be able to introduce George Sherrill as the latest veteran addition to his bullpen.
Sherrill and the Braves agreed to terms on a one-year, $1.2 million contract late Wednesday afternoon. The 33-year-old left-handed reliever was scheduled to travel to Atlanta on Thursday to undergo a physical.
When Wren and his staff arrived at this year's Meetings, their to-do list was rather small. They had already secured their powerful right-handed bat in the form of Dan Uggla, re-signed the popular and effective Eric Hinske and added experience to their bullpen with the acquisition of Scott Linebrink.
"The sooner you can make the moves you need to make, the better it is for everyone," Wren said. "The sooner you can narrow your focus to smaller pieces or whatever, the better it is for your team. It allows you to be more aggressive."
With the heavy lifting complete, Wren spent this past week aggressively attempting to trade Kenshin Kawakami and add to the depth of his bullpen and outfield.
The Pirates showed great interest in Kawakami early in the week and then seemed to rekindle some interest as the Meetings were nearing an end. But for now, the Braves find themselves searching for a team willing to pay at least $1 million-$2 million of the $6.67 million they owe the Japanese right-hander next year.
Wren came to this year's Meetings knowing that he wanted to deal Kawakami and land a left-handed reliever. Some conversations staged early in the week led him to gain interest in Brewers center fielder Lorenzo Cain.
When the Braves learned Cain might be available, they began discussions that could seemingly extend beyond this week. But for now, the Braves seem very reluctant to meet the Brewers' request to exchange either left-handed pitcher Mike Minor or right-handed pitcher Brandon Beachy.
While the Braves could benefit from adding an outfielder like Cain, Wren has said the addition of an outfielder shouldn't be viewed as a necessity.
"We've got a couple of things we're talking about right now," Wren said. "They're pieces, but they could be significant pieces if it all comes together."
Deals done: Agreed to terms on a one-year, $1.2 million deal with Sherrill.
Rule 5 Draft activity: Lost left-hander Scott Diamond to the Twins in the Major League phase. Acquired right-hander Eliecer Cardenas (Twins) and southpaw Rowdy Hardy (Royals) in the Minor League phase.
Goals accomplished: Wren arrived without any definite expectations and exited with a veteran left-handed reliever who is just two years removed from being an All-Star closer. Sherrill is considered a top-notch individual, and as a pitcher, he frustrated left-handed hitters while experiencing a rough 2010 season.
Unfinished business: There's still a chance the Braves will opt to add an inexpensive outfielder before heading to Spring Training. But there's also a good possibility that Wren has made his last significant offseason roster addition.
GM's bottom line: "I think overall it was a good [Winter Meetings] for us. We filtered some things out. In the next day or so, we will hopefully have some things finalized that will make our club a better club." -- Wren
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.