The NL East-leading Atlanta Braves are feeling the heat of a tightening race and are looking to bolster their relief corps, this according to MLB.com’s Mark Bowman.
The Cubs’ James Russell, the Brewers’ Mike Gonzalez and the Astros’ Wesley Wright are among the left-handed relievers on general manager Frank Wren’s wish list. While Wright is considered a candidate, it appears the Braves are more interested in the possibility of dealing for either Russell or Gonzalez.
We learned yesterday that Atlanta was one of a handful of teams that had inquired on Minnesota Twins closer Glen Perkins, but had their advanced rebuffed. The search for left handed relievers is somewhat surprising for Atlanta given the strong performances of both Alex Wood and Luis Avilan in their bullpen.
Wood and Avilan have been revelations and have provided outstanding work in the absence of both Eric O’Flaherty and Jonny Venters; two of the top left handed relievers in all of baseball – both missing due to injury. Wood, however, is said to be a candidate to join Atlanta’s starting rotation.
That’s all fine and good for Wood, but realistically the Braves already have a potential logjam in the rotation with five established starters and Brandon Beachy working his way back via rehab assignment. If the Braves are going to make a move for a southpaw in the bullpen, you can almost expect that there will be at least one move made involving a starter, probably Paul Maholm.