Before acquiring Matt Kemp, the Braves looked into a deal for outfielder Ryan Braun, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports tweets. Braun, certainly, would have been the more intriguing addition, given that he has significantly out-produced Kemp this year, though presumably Milwaukee is much less interested in holding onto a big chunk of Braun’s salary to facilitate a deal. Atlanta GM John Coppolella acknowledged the importance of the financial component of the pact in recent comments, as Bowman reports. “We didn’t give up a draft pick, and we didn’t trade away any prospects,” he said. “So, we were able to stick with the plan that we had while still filling a major need for us with right-handed power.”
We’ll round up the remainder of the chatter on the eve of deadline day:
- Right-handed reliever Jim Johnson still seems to be the likeliest Braves player to be traded, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman tweets. While the team would love to find a taker for shortstop Erick Aybar, though, there simply isn’t any interest in him, per the report.
- Chatter surrounding White Sox ace Chris Sale continues to suggest that he’s an unlikely trade candidate, but the mere possibility of a trade certainly warrants attention. The Rangers, Dodgers, and Red Sox are three clubs still working the phones to see if something can be worked out, per Heyman, who goes on to discuss some of the names being kicked around in possible deal frameworks.
- The Rays’ own controllable starters seem more likely to be moved, though that too is far from a certainty. Tampa Bay is still holding talks with many teams, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times writes. Meanwhile, the Cubs are at least still looking into acquiring a quality arm from that — or another — organization, Bruce Miles of 670thescore.com tweets. We also heard tonight that the Giants are chasing Rays lefty Matt Moore.
- Though the Yankees still haven’t fielded offers that it likes for outfielder Carlos Beltran, rival executives tell Heyman (Twitter link) that they think the veteran will be moved tomorrow. You can read up on the latest rumblings on Beltran right here.
- Astros GM Jeff Luhnow said over the weekend (on Saturday, to be exact) that his team is “50-50” to make a move in advance of the deadline, as Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle reports. “We’ve got some things in the works, but nothing getting close to going over the finish line at this point,” said Luhnow, who also acknowledged the high price that starting pitching is commanding this summer. Houston doesn’t appear to have any real needs, strictly speaking, but is surely interested in exploring ways to bolster the roster — particularly in the rotation.