One more name to watch in trade talks this spring: Jair Jurrjens.
He was a popular name on the market when the winter began. The Braves didn't trade him, in part because they couldn't convince potential trade partners that he's healthy and can stay healthy.
Perhaps he can prove that this spring. If so, the Braves could well try to move him again, according to sources.
As I pointed out in this column, big spring training trades have become a rarity in modern baseball. But Jurrjens isn't terribly expensive ($5.5 million this year), and when he's been healthy, he's been very good. His ERA in the first half of the 2011 season was 1.87, second to Jered Weaver among major-league starters.
Why would the Braves trade him? Skeptics would say that they don't believe he can stay healthy, but they would counter that they have a crowded rotation, even with Tim Hudson likely to miss the first few starts of the year after offseason back surgery. The Braves are convinced that Tommy Hanson's shoulder is fine (and say that Hanson is in much better shape), and they're excited about youngsters Randall Delgado and Julio Teheran.
And Jurrjens is due to be a free agent after the 2013 season, always a consideration for the cost-conscious Braves.
Even if Jurrjens looks healthy this spring -- and the Braves say he does -- it may be hard to convince teams that he is worth the risk. While the Red Sox could use a starter (and Jurrjens would fit into their price range), they're known to have had serious doubts about the right-hander's health.
Jurrjens missed the end of the 2011 season with a knee injury. The Braves say he recovered so well that he would have started a playoff game if not for their September collapse. But after making 65 starts in his first two years with the Braves, Jurrjens has been able to make just 43 starts over the last two seasons.
Is he healthy now? Again, the Braves say yes.
If he can prove it this spring, maybe another team will believe it enough to deal for him.