LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Left-hander Mike Minor entered the Braves' clubhouse early Friday morning and made manager Fredi Gonzalez and his teammates did not think he was attempting to give the team an ultimatum when he was talking to a reporter from The Atlanta-Journal Constitution
"I was trying to say I think this is the year I can make the team out of Spring Training and stay there," Minor said. "If I can't, and I keep going back to Triple-A this year and then next year, then I'd hope the Braves would trade me."
Minor was quoted in the AJC as saying, "If they don't have room for me here, then there's no reason they shouldn't trade me or just do something with me."
Minor regretted using the word "trade" and wishes he would have better explained that he simply believes he will have had plenty of opportunities to prove himself by the time next year arrives. The left-hander will turn 25 in December, and he is confident he can find a spot in the Majors if the pitching-rich Braves are not able to provide him one.
Many of Minor's teammates liked that he was expressing this kind of confidence in himself.
"I don't want to be in Gwinnett my whole career," Minor said. "I know I'm only 24 and that is not old. But when I turn 25 or 26 next year, if I'm still going up and down [between Atlanta and Gwinnett], then I would think they would do something."
Minor, the seventh overall selection in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, made great improvements last year and posted a 3.83 ERA in his final nine big league starts. With Tim Hudson likely to be sidelined through at least the end of April, the young southpaw is projected to begin this year in the fourth spot of the rotation.