Braves Rumors: Atlanta Eyeing Cubs Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster

CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 18: Starting pitcher Matt Garza #22 of the Chicago Cubs delivers the ball against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on June 18, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Brandon Beachy’s season-ending elbow injury could increase the Atlanta Braves chances of trading for a proven pitcher before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, reports David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. O’Brien ties the Braves to Chicago Cubs right-handers Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster.

O’Brien notes that Atlanta’s top scout, Jim Fregosi, was spotted at Garza’s most recent start. The Braves are considered to be among the six or more teams interested in the 28-year-old. So far this season, the Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles, Los Angeles Dodgers and Detroit Tigers have been tied to Garza.

O’Brien adds that the Cubs have made it known that veteran pitcher Ryan Dempster is available. The 35-year-old has been impressive this season, though he’s currently on the 15-day disabled list.

O’Brien speculates that it would take two Braves prospects to acquire either pitcher. He states that the prospects would likely have to be of higher quality in the case of Garza, but the Cubs may be willing to eat more of Dempster’s remaining salary depending on the grade of prospects they are offered in a trade.

At this point, the Braves are operating with a starting rotation of Tim Hudson, Tommy Hanson, Mike Minor, Randall Delgado and Jair Jurrjens. Hudson, Hanson and Delgado have been alright this season, but Minor’s struggled as did Jurrjens before he was demoted to Triple-A earlier in the year.

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