Braves monitoring the pitching market

Concerns about the Braves’ rotation have lessened as Ben Sheets has found success during the early stages of his comeback and Mike Minor has turned his season around.  Still general manager Frank Wren and staff have continued to evaluate the trade market for both starting pitchers and relievers.

All seemed quiet on the trade front as the Braves prepared for Sunday afternoon’s game against the Phillies.  But things could certainly heat up as Tuesday afternoon’s Trade Deadline approaches.

While many industry sources seem to doubt the possibility of Ryan Dempster ending up in Atlanta, the next 24 hours could be telling.  Dempster, who blocked a trade to the Braves last week, is scheduled to make his next start for the Cubs on Tuesday night.

There is still a chance Dempster will get his wish to be traded to the Dodgers.  But the Cubs and Dodgers have struggled to reach an agreement while discussing this possibility over the past couple of weeks.

If this continues, there is a chance Dempster could end up in Atlanta.  But if he does, the Cubs might not be compensated with Randall Delgado, the highly-regarded pitching prospect who was included in the trade the veteran pitcher blocked last week.

The Braves are among the teams that have shown interest in James Shields.  But the Rays have not yet provided clear indication that they are willing to deal Shields without getting a significant return.     —  Mark Bowman

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