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Yankees Trade Rumors: Braves Dangling Jair Jurrjens?

The Atlanta Braves have apparently approached the New York Yankees about the possibility of acquiring young infielder Eduardo Nunez, and the possibility reportedly exists that they would be willing to part with talented 25-year-old starting pitcher Jair Jurrjens in order to do it.

Here is part of the Daily News report on the rumored discussions:

The Braves think highly enough of Nunez’s potential, according to a major league source, that they might consider trading Jurrjens, their 25-year-old All-Star righthander, to the Yankees in a deal built around the 23-year-old shortstop.At the GM meetings last week the Braves reportedly were asking for a very high price in return for Jurrjens, but the source expects that price to come down.

"They're willing to trade him," the source said, "because they have plenty of young pitching without him, he's starting to make big money - and he's a (Scott) Boras guy who'll be gone (as free agent) in two years.

"They need offense, they need a shortstop because they don't want to bring (Alex) Gonzalez back, and they like Nunez a lot. They know the jury is out on him defensively, but they think his offense is strong enough that he could move to the outfield if he can't be their long-term answer at short."

The Daily News also speculated that the Yankees would likely have to include outfielder Nick Swisher, and possibly a minor-league pitcher, to make this deal happen.

Who is Jurrjens? He is a talented right-hander who went 13-6 with a 2.96 ERA in 152 innings pitched for Atlanta last season. There are injury concerns with Jurrjens, who was 12-3 with a 1.87 ERA at one point last season and made the NL All-Star team, but was shut down for the final month of the season due to a knee injury. Jurrjens had surgery on the same knee in October of 2010.

Jurrjens, though, has a 50-33 career record with a 3.40 ERA and a career WHIP of 1.29. He profiles as the classic No. 2 or 3 starter the Yankees need behind CC Sabathia

Nunez is a good young player, but without a full-time role as Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez are going to be around for a few years yet. Swisher has one year left on his contract and, while he has been productive for the Yankees, general manager Brian Cashman has said he would be willing to trade offense if he could improve the team's starting rotation.

If the Braves are indeed serious about moving Jurrjens for a Nunez-Swisher package it would be difficult to understand why Cashman and the Yankees would turn that down.