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Source: Twins nearing deal for Braves' Garcia

MLB.com @RhettBollinger

MINNEAPOLIS -- Looking to bolster their beleaguered rotation, the Twins are in the final stages of trading for Braves left-hander Jaime Garcia, according to a Major League source on Thursday. The Twins are expected to send a Minor League prospect in return.

Neither club has confirmed the report.

MINNEAPOLIS -- Looking to bolster their beleaguered rotation, the Twins are in the final stages of trading for Braves left-hander Jaime Garcia, according to a Major League source on Thursday. The Twins are expected to send a Minor League prospect in return.

Neither club has confirmed the report.

Garcia, 31, has posted a 4.33 ERA with 81 strikeouts and 40 walks in 106 innings with Atlanta. He has a career 3.65 ERA in 175 games (164 starts) with the Cardinals and Braves, but has never pitched in the American League.

Right-hander Aaron Blair was scratched from his scheduled start Thursday for Triple-A Gwinnett, signaling that Atlanta could have him take Garcia's spot in the rotation Friday if the veteran is traded.

Garcia is in the final year of his contract, and is earning $12 million with the Braves after an offseason trade. He's due roughly $4.85 million the rest of the year. The Twins weren't considered likely to trade for a rental player, but they badly need starting pitching and are only a half-game back of the Indians in the AL Central.

Outside of right-handers Ervin Santana (11-6, 2.99 ERA) and Jose Berrios (9-3, 3.50 ERA), the Twins haven't received much consistency from their starters, as their rotation's 4.91 ERA ranks as the seventh-worst in the Majors.

Injuries have also hurt their depth, as Hector Santiago is on the 10-day disabled list with a back strain, while Phil Hughes is likely out for the year with a recurrence of thoracic outlet syndrome symptoms. Trevor May also had Tommy John surgery before the season.

The Twins recently added veteran Bartolo Colon, who also pitched for the Braves this year. He made his Minnesota debut on Tuesday, allowing four runs in four-plus innings in a loss to the Yankees. He's scheduled to start again on Monday in Los Angeles against the Dodgers.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.

Atlanta Braves, Minnesota Twins, Jaime Garcia