Braves Could Listen On Venters

THURSDAY, 7:39pm: The Braves haven't had any internal discussions about trading Venters, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (Twitter link).  The Venters trade rumor "appears to be unfounded," writes's Mark Bowman, and with relievers Eric O'Flaherty and Jordan Walden both dealing with injuries, Atlanta may not be able to afford moving Venters.

WEDNESDAY, 10:44am: There's talk among scouts that the Braves will listen to trade offers for left-handed reliever Jonny Venters, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). However, the Braves say they love the depth in their bullpen, particularly from the left side.

Venters appeared in 66 games in 2012, posting a 3.22 ERA with 10.6 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9 in 58 2/3 innings. The 27-year-old has a 2.23 ERA with 10.1 K/9 in three seasons with the Braves. Those numbers earned him a raise to $1.625MM this offseason when he was arbitration eligible for the first time. Venters is under team control through 2015.

If the Braves were to trade Venters they'd still have left-handers Eric O'Flaherty and Luis Avilan available in the bullpen. Teams such as the Nationals, Tigers and Dodgers could have interest in a reliever of Venters' caliber in my view. The Braves could seek a left-handed hitting bench player if they do consider trading Venters.

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