ATLANTA - Frank Wren's first trade as Atlanta Braves general manager didn't bring back the experienced starting pitcher that was at the top of most fans' wish list.
Instead, the Braves got a young right-hander with some major league experience and an outfield prospect from Detroit for shortstop Edgar Renteria in Monday's deal.
Renteria, entering the final year of his contract, was expendable despite hitting .332 last season because of the emergence of rookie Yunel Escobar, who showed he deserved a starting spot himself by batting .326.
Jair Jurrjens, the hard-throwing right-hander obtained from the Tigers, has promise, but made just seven starts last season for Detroit. He was 3-1 with a 4.70 ERA.
The Braves also received fleet center field prospect Gorkys Hernandez, who was named the most valuable player in the Class A Midwest League.
The willingness of the Braves to get just young players for Renteria seems to further indicate that Tom Glavine will return to Atlanta. The former Braves ace, who won his 300th game for the New York Mets this season, is opting out of his contract and will soon become a free agent.
Glavine, 41, has stated his desire to continue playing near his Alpharetta home and finish up with his original team. He was 13-8 with a 4.45 ERA last season.
The Braves rotation struggled last season behind John Smoltz and Tim Hudson. Glavine would give the team a second left-hander, joining Chuck James.
Jurrgens, 21, will get a chance to compete for the remaining spot if Mike Hampton isn't fully recovered from elbow surgery. Hampton may not be ready for the start of the season.
"We are extremely excited to be able to add a starting pitcher who we believe will compete for a spot in our rotation next spring, as well as an exciting and gifted outfielder who possesses tremendous speed for the future," Wren, who took over for John Schuerholz, said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the Tigers got a proven commodity in the 32-year-old Renteria, who played for Detroit manager Jim Leyland when the Florida Marlins won the World Series in 1997. With the deal, the Tigers can move Carlos Guillen to first base.
"We were able to address our biggest need heading into the winter with one of the best shortstops in the game," Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said on a conference call with Detroit reporters.
Renteria is owed $9 million next season, although $3 million of that is to be paid by Boston, which dealt the Colombian to the Braves two years ago. Now the Braves will help the Tigers some with Renteria's salary.
'I'm real happy to be a Detroit Tiger player,' Renteria said. 'I know Dave and Jim Leyland and I think I'm going to be comfortable in Detroit.'
Hernandez, who just turned 20, gives the Braves a future option in center field, but they already have Jordan Schafer, who has even more promise. Schafer, 21, is playing in the Arizona Fall League and batting .326 in a dozen games. He led the minors in hits last season.
The Braves need a center fielder to replace free agent Andruw Jones next season and obviously will go after nothing more than a stop-gap solution. Wren and Schuerholz, now the Braves' president, have both said that the team won't move Jeff Francoeur from right field to center next season.
Like Jones, Jurrjens is from Curacao.
- The Associated Press contributed to this report
SideBar: THE DEAL
Going to the Tigers
Who: Edgar Renteria
2007 stats: Batted .332 with 30 doubles, 12 homers and 57 RBIs for the Braves in 124 games. Missed a month with a sprained ankle.
Coming to the Braves
Who: Jair Jurrjens
2007 stats: 3-1 with 4.70 ERA in seven starts for Detroit and 7-5 with a 3.20 ERA in 19 games in the Class AA Eastern League.
Who: Gorkys Hernandez
Position: Center field
2007 stats: Batted .293 and stole 54 bases in the Class A Midwest League, winning MVP honors.