The Braves continue to engage other trade partners for left-hander Jaime Garcia after having extensive discussions with the Twins on Thursday night without reaching a deal.A Major League source said Friday the two sides had not reached an agreement, and Atlanta is continuing to shop the veteran as he's set
The Braves continue to engage other trade partners for left-hander Jaime Garcia after having extensive discussions with the Twins on Thursday night without reaching a deal.
A Major League source said Friday the two sides had not reached an agreement, and Atlanta is continuing to shop the veteran as he's set to start Friday night against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. There is still a chance the teams could complete a trade, but it appears ongoing talks will be necessary to reach an agreement on the players and money that would be exchanged. Despite a source saying the clubs were close to a deal on Thursday night, an agreement between the two clubs was never reached, so medical issues are not the reason for the hold up.
Garcia is owed approximately $5 million over the remainder of what is the final season of his contract. In exchange for what many have labeled the top rental pitcher available on this year's trade market, the Twins or another club would likely provide the Braves with at least one Minor League player.
The level of return for the Braves would be directly influenced by how much of Garcia's remaining salary the Twins or another club would agree to pay. If willing to assume a significant portion of the approximate $5 million cost, the return would likely be a mid-level prospect. Atlanta likely would gain a more highly regarded prospect only if it's willing to absorb a significant portion of what is owed the veteran pitcher. Other clubs interested in the lefty include the Astros and Royals.
After halting a three-game losing streak with Thursday night's win over the Dodgers, the Braves were 11 games back in the National League East race and 8 1/2 games back in the pursuit to gain at least one of the two Wild Card spots.
The Twins are a half-game behind the first-place Indians in the American League Central race and just one game back in the Wild Card hunt. They have put themselves in the thick of the postseason chase despite producing the AL's third-worst starting pitching ERA. Even though the Braves might still have visions of defying the odds by making a serious run at a postseason berth, there has long been reason to expect they would attempt to flip Garcia, who had been acquired as a short-term rental from the Cardinals in December.
The Twins weren't expected to be looking to trade for an impending free agent, but with their starters posting the sixth-worst ERA in the Majors, they're looking to upgrade their pitching any way possible. Manager Paul Molitor wouldn't comment directly on the trade rumors, but was pleased to see his club led by chief baseball officer Derek Falvey and general manager Thad Levine is looking to be buyers.
"Our guys are very open-minded about certain situations," Molitor said. "I saw rumors this morning about what was going on. That's just the nature of how these things go."
Garcia has produced a 4.33 ERA over 17 starts this year and distanced himself from the injuries that have plagued him throughout his career. His trade value rose as he produced a 1.49 ERA over five starts from May 21-June 11 but then dropped as he allowed at least five earned runs in each of his final four starts before the All-Star break.
Garcia provided a strong seven-inning performance against the D-backs on Sunday. The Braves scratched Aaron Blair from his start for Triple-A Gwinnett on Thursday in order to have him available if necessary to pitch Friday in place of Garcia.
Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, **Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter [@RhettBollinger](https://twitter.com/RhettBollinger)** and listen to his podcast.
Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.