In a span of five days the Braves have seen trade possibilities with their top two targets on the market foiled.
On Monday, Cubs right-hander Ryan Dempster failed to approve a deal that would have sent Dempster to the Braves for right-hander Randall Delgado, then on Friday, the Brewers traded Zack Grienke to the Los Angeles Angels for shortstop and two Double-A pitchers.
The Braves haven’t ruled out Dempster, who has said he still might accept the Braves trade before the July 31st deadline, but the Dodgers are still clearly his preference and a team that might trade for him yet.
The same reason that the Braves balked at sending a prospect like Julio Teheran to Milwaukee is the same reason they’ll find it challenging to find another starter before Tuesday’s 4 p.m. deadline – the cost.
Some of the remaining top-of-the-rotation pitchers who might become available like Miami’s Josh Johnson and Tampa’s James Shields will likely demand an even higher price in prospects.
“We’ve got several different paths we can go down,” Braves general manager Frank Wren said shortly before the Greinke deal broke. “It’s one thing to say ‘OK this is what we need.’ It’s another thing to get it because there’s not a lot out there. That makes a big difference.”
The Braves are also in the market for a platoon player/right-handed hitter as well as relief help.
The Braves are keeping Kris Medlen in mind for a possible start on Tuesday in place of the struggling Jair Jurrjens. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said Medlen would be available for one final inning out of the bullpen on Friday if that’s the way they go.
That’s about as far as Gonzalez is taking it.
“I’m to the point where whoever gets here gets here,” Gonzalez said of potential trade acquisitions. “Don’t even worry about who or how or how it’s going to fit.”