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Braves have had 'serious talks' about trading Jason Grilli

Grilli has had success as Atlanta's closer and could help a contending team.

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Jason Grilli has thrived as Atlanta's closer and contending clubs are taking notice. Grilli has consistently been mentioned in trade rumors over the last few weeks, and according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman, the Braves have had 'serious talks' about trading Grilli to teams in contention.

Atlanta signed Grilli to a two-year deal with a club option for a third year last winter. He is earning $4.25 million this season and is due $3.5 million in 2016. While the Braves are open to any deal, Heyman notes, the organization has added a notable number of pitching prospects and would like to continue to do so as the trade deadline approaches.

Grilli, 38, has posted a 2.67 ERA and 2.06 FIP over 33.2 innings in 2015. He has saved 24 contests for Atlanta and will likely be deemed one of the more affordable closers on the market. The Phillies have reportedly pulled back on trying to trade Jonathan Papelbon and Francisco Rodriguez is expected to be available. Tyler Clippard could also be dealt.

Heyman notes the Blue Jays and Dodgers as the two clubs that would make the most sense for Grilli. While the Blue Jays might prefer Papelbon or Aroldis Chapman, Grilli would likely significantly aid the back of Toronto's bullpen. The Blue Jays' bullpen ERA of 3.58 is good for 16th in baseball, and at 44-45 and 4.5 games out of first place in the AL East, the club has an opportunity to make a run in the second half.

Los Angeles' bullpen has posted a 3.51, which ranks 14th in baseball, but the Dodgers might be better suited with a veteran like Grilli pitching late in games.

Jim Johnson has posted a 2.14 ERA, and as a result, the Braves can likely deal Grilli feeling comfortable Johnson can slide into the closer role. The Braves, at 42-45, still have an opportunity to gain ground in the National League East and they might be able to do so without Grilli.