Winter Meetings 2012: Atlanta Braves Fairly Quiet in Day One

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The 2012 MLB Winter Meetings got underway in Nashville, Tn. this week, and although some deals have already been ironed out during the first day, the Atlanta Braves have remained relatively quiet for now.

Prior to the meetings even beginning the Braves made some big noise, signing free agent center fielder B.J. Upton from the Tampa Bay Rays. But all indications are that Atlanta is ready to make some more moves as the week of handshaking between GM’s and other team executives progresses.

Over the weekend, the Braves freed up some more space in their Liberty Media imposed budget by trading right-handed starter Tommy Hanson to the Los Angeles Angels for reliever Jordan Walden, and then by announcing they would not tender an offer to struggling starter Jair Jurrjens, who would have cost the team approximately $5 million if he had gone to arbitration.

Today Atlanta announced that they had wrapped up the services of shortstop Paul Janish in a one-year deal that had actually been reached earlier in the off-season, but was made official today at the Winter Meetings.

This leaves the Braves in play for a left fielder (desperately needed), a veteran starting pitcher (needed but not urgently), and even possibly a big-name 3rd baseman to replace the retired Chipper Jones, although most believe that Martin Prado will plug in nicely at the hot corner in Turner Field.

There have been rumors floating around about the Braves having an interest in outfielder Shane Victorino, who at his age could probably do well with a move to left field, and would serve as an able backup to Upton in center. It’s also been rumored that the Braves are once again going to enter into the Zack Greinke sweepstakes that they came up short in during last season’s trade deadline deals.

It would seem unlikely, as close as the Braves have come in recent years to recapturing their perch atop the NL East, that Braves GM Frank Wren will allow this week to pass without some sort of headline making deal.

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Michael Collins is a Rant Sports NFL and MLB Network Manager, and Atlanta sports columnist. Follow him @GaSportsCraze on Twitter and here on Facebook

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