Braves seek lefty reliever before deadline

Will Frank Wren pull the trigger on a deal for another relief pitcher?

Jonny Venters is still on the disabled list. Eric O'Flaherty is in the Oakland bullpen. Luis Avilan is in the minor leagues. And a kid that just made his big league debut a little over a week ago is the only left-handed reliever in the Atlanta bullpen.

Yes, the Braves need him before the 4:00 pm Thursday trade deadline. They need another reliever.

There are a lot of southpaw relievers available, like Andrew Miller, Tony Sipp, Antonio Bastardo, Oliver Perez, James Russell and Wesley Wright. And could on it - the Braves will undoubtedly get one of them.

Braves general manager Frank Wren is surely working the phones to see what he can come up with. The Braves obviously do not have much money, and with the number of teams that need a lefty reliever it will not be easy to get one.

So might they wait until August, when the prices go down? Sure, they might just do that. Then they'll know more if Ian Thomas can bounce or if Avilan can be trusted again in a tough, late-inning soluttion.

Make no mistake about it. The Braves do need help in the bullpen. Will the cost be too high? They now have several high-end prospects, like Christian Bethancourt and Jose Peraza. But that shouldn't be the price for a pitcher, particularly if it's a rental. The Braves have to hope there is interest in some of their tier-two prospets.

Listen to “The Bill Shanks Show” from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 AM in Macon and online at Follow Bill at and e-mail him at

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