The Braves are seeking pitching help prior to the trade deadline, and MLB.com's Mark Bowman reports that they recently called the Red Sox about Jon Lester. Boston is not yet looking to sell, something we heard earlier this month.
"Pitching is at a premium," said GM Frank Wren. "It's so hard to get pitching because there are a limited amount of guys. There are a lot of guys being bantered around out there, and they're not really available because teams have not determined whether they're in or out. In some cases, they haven't determined whether they can sign them or not. It's really a tough market."
Lester, 28, is in the middle of the worst full season of his career. His 4.80 ERA is more than a full run higher than his 3.67 career mark, and his strikeout rate (7.6 K/9) is his lowest since 2008. The good news is that his 2.6 BB/9 is a career-best. Lester is owed $11.625MM next season with a $13MM club option for 2014.
Bowman says the Braves appear to be much more interested in Zack Greinke than Ryan Dempster, but they will not mortgage the future for a rental player. Atlanta is also in the market for bullpen help and Bowman opines that they may check in former Brave Omar Infante.