Just one day after adding Shelby Miller to the rotation, the Braves will now prepare to meet with Jon Lester later this week, according to ESPN's Buster Olney. Olney went on to say that the meeting is expected to take place on Thursday.
Lester, the top left-hander on the market, is currently receiving legitimate interest from as many as six teams, according to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. Lester will likely land five or six-year deal, worth at least $100 million. Along with the Braves, Lester is expected to meet with the Cubs and the Red Sox this week, and the Blue Jays and Royals have also been linked to him.
Even though the Braves freed up close to $11 million with the trade of Jason Heyward and Jordan Walden, it would still take some other transactions to add Lester and keep the payroll under the team's $112 million total from 2014. The Braves appear to be ready to make more moves, as they are open to moving anyone on the roster besides Freddie Freeman, Andrelton Simmons, Craig Kimbrel, and the top three starters in the rotation.
Trading Evan Gattis, who has yet to reach his arbitration years, would not save the team much money, but trading outfielder Justin Upton could create plenty of space. Upton, who is entering his final year of his current contract, will be paid close to $15 million in 2015. The Braves could try to move BJ Upton as well, but it is unlikely any team would be willing to pay much of the $48 million owed to the elder Upton over the next three years.