Prado focused on baseball, not contract

Prado focused on baseball, not contract

ATLANTA -- Martin Prado has impressively bounced back from the most disappointing season of his young career and provided reason to believe he could serve as Chipper Jones' successor as the Braves' starting third baseman next year.

But contrary to some recent speculation, the Braves are not currently attempting to lock him up with a multi-year extension. Prado seemed content with the fact that he has not had any discussions with the club regarding this possibility.

"That is not something I want to think about right now," Prado said. "I just want to focus on this season."

Prado could earn somewhere in the neighborhood of $6.5 million to $7 million in his final arbitration-eligible season next year. As things stand, the versatile veteran would be eligible for free agency for the first time after the conclusion of the 2013 season.

There is a chance the Braves could discuss a multi-year contract with Prado this winter. But the club has rarely negotiated this sort of extension during the middle of the season.

After batting a career-low .262 with a .687 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) during an injury-plagued season last year, a determined Prado dedicated himself to regaining the successful form he possessed when he earned an All-Star selection in 2010. The results have thus far been impressive.

Prado entered Tuesday hitting .317 with a .823 OPS. While primarily positioned at third base and left field, he has also made starts at first base, second base and shortstop this year.