12:59pm: The Braves seem to be close to acquiring Ryan Dempster, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (Twitter links). The Braves are believed to be high on the list of teams to which Dempster would approve a trade, Heyman notes. The right-hander, who can veto any trade, is not likely to demand an extension.
Dempster, 35, has an NL-best 2.11 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in 98 innings for the Cubs this year. He earns $14MM in 2012 — more than $5.5MM between now and the end of the season — but the Cubs are said to be willing to absorb salary to facilitate a deal.
12:39pm: The Braves are moving closer to finalizing a trade for a starting pitcher, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (on Twitter). GM Frank Wren is known to be looking for starting pitching and reportedly has some interest in Zack Greinke, Ryan Dempster, Jon Lester, Jason Vargas and others.
Braves starters have combined for a 4.34 ERA with 7.0 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 so far this year. The team's rotation currently consists of Tim Hudson, Tommy Hanson, Mike Minor, Jair Jurrjens and newcomer Ben Sheets. Brandon Beachy and Arodys Vizcaino are out for the season with Tommy John surgery, which has diminished the organization's internal options. Here's a look at some potentially available starting pitchers.
This post was first published on Monday, July 23rd.