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Wren: Braves have 'moved on' regarding Dempster

Wren: Braves have 'moved on' regarding Dempster

MIAMI -- Braves general manager Frank Wren has not completely ruled out the possibility of adding Ryan Dempster to his starting rotation before Tuesday's Trade Deadline. But as he prepared to watch Wednesday's series finale against the Marlins, it appeared his club's focus had returned to Zack Greinke and other starting pitchers that could be available via trade.

"We've moved on," Wren said. "Like I told you guys last night, it's highly unlikely that we make that [Dempster] deal."

The Braves and Cubs agreed on Monday to a deal that would have brought Dempster to Atlanta in exchange for Randall Delgado and at least one other Minor Leaguer. But utilizing the trade veto rights he has earned by playing in the Majors for at least 10 years and with the same team for five years, Dempster has not given his blessing.

Because the wait extended beyond Tuesday, the framework of this deal appears to be dead.

"We had certain parameters for us that expired," Wren said. "The Cubs were fully aware of it and understood."

After pitching six innings on Wednesday afternoon in Pittsburgh, Dempster said he understood the Braves' stance. He has a relationship with Wren and Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez dating back more than 15 years when they were all together in the Marlins organization.

"They have a job to do and that's to better their team, and they can't wait around for me to make my decision," Dempster said. "I understand that fully. If that's still an option down the road, it's something I'll have to look at. I'll try to make the best decision for me and my family."

Greinke has always been at the top of the Braves' wish list, and they are still evaluating the possibility of adding the former Cy Young Award winner. Their top scout, Jim Fregosi, was in Philadelphia on Wednesday night to see Greinke limit the Phillies to one run and three hits in seven innings. The veteran pitcher also homered off Cliff Lee.

Indications are that the Brewers will want top pitching prospect Julio Teheran and at least one other highly-regarded prospect in exchange for Greinke, who is set for a big payday on the free-agent market this winter.

The Braves are willing to provide the five-year contract and $20 million-plus annual salary that Greinke is expected to be seeking. But the package they would be willing to provide the Brewers will be based on their confidence that Greinke would not simply be a two-month rental.

If the Marlins are willing to talk Josh Johnson, the Braves would likely be willing to listen, especially after seeing him at his best on Monday night. But like the Padres with Edison Volquez, the Marlins will likely be asking for more than the Braves are willing to offer.

All indications are that the Braves still intend to make a significant acquisition of a starting pitcher before Tuesday. Contrary to some reports, they have not shown interest in the Twins' Francisco Liriano or the Cubs' Matt Garza.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for