It was probably one of the first things that crossed your mind when you heard that Atlanta Braves starter Brandon Beachy, who is leading the NL in ERA (2.00), was headed to the DL with elbow troubles. It was probably one of the first things that crossed your mind when you heard that Beachy had at least a slight tear in his ulnar collateral ligament. And it was definitely the first thing that crossed your mind when it was announced late last night that Beachy would be undergoing Tommy John surgery, and would be out until next year.

Maybe the Braves just got desperate for Ryan Dempster or Matt Garza.

The midseason trade game can be an icky one, full of uncomfortable rooting interests, and things you think, but would never say aloud. I guess the best way to put it is that, while I am not the least bit happy about Beachy going down in the middle of a great season, I am excited that the Cubs’ possible trade markets continue to open up. And I wish Beachy a speedy and full recovery.

But, speaking of that trade market, although the Braves would never say they’re desperate to pick up a starter, they’re certainly looking.

And, according to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Braves are indeed taking a long look at both Dempster and Garza. We heard earlier in the week that the Braves had sent their top talent evaluator, former big league manager Jim Fregosi, to watch Matt Garza’s latest start (a fact confirmed by O’Brien). O’Brien says that the Braves are “believed” to be among “six or more” teams interested in Garza. O’Brien points to Garza’s contract – $9.5 million this year, and another year of control thereafter – as a plus in acquiring him.

Without specifics, O’Brien suggests that Dempster is another pitcher in whom the Braves could have interest, and that he’d likely cost less in trade than Garza (yeah … ). O’Brien also notes that the Cubs are likely willing to eat a substantial portion of the money owed to Dempster this year in order to improve their return, something of import to the always cost-conscious Braves.

Obviously the Braves would be an attractive trade partner for the Cubs.* The Cubs are looking for big-time pitching prospects, and that tends to be the Braves’ specialty. They’ve got top 100 types Julio Teheran and Arodys Vizcaino (who is recovering from Tommy John surgery), as well as interesting guys like Sean Gilmartin, Zeke Spruill, J.R. Graham, and more. They’ve also got 22-year-old starter Randall Delgado, who’s found some success already as a starter in the bigs.

The Braves also have a number of semi-successful, young-ish big league starters – guys like Jair Jurrjens, Kris Medlen, and Mike Minor – on whom the Cubs might be willing to take a chance, if the rest of the deal made sense.

They’ve also got some solid positional prospects in areas of need (third base, catcher), so I could obviously go on for a while. The point is: the Cubs could find what they want if the Braves were desperate to pick up one of Garza or Dempster.

And, given that the Braves are currently just 3.5 games out in the NL East, and just 0.5 back from the second Wild Card, they’re clearly going to want to stay in the race as best they can. With Beachy out, that might just mean parting with a prospect they might not otherwise have wished to deal.

*Subject to the caveat that the Braves have long been supremely good at evaluating young talent, and you risk a whammy when picking up the pitching prospects that they’ve decided they’re willing to discard.

  • cubs217

    Who is the last pitching prospect the braves traded that went on to be successful in his new location? I cant think of (m)any off the top of my head.

    • Matty Ice

      Neftali Feliz

    • Brett

      That’s a big reason for the caveat there at the end. But look back at the Mark Teixeira trade – the Rangers are probably loving on that one, having landed Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz and Matt Harrison, in addition to Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

      Whew. Actually. Damn. That was a freaking haul.

      • Jack Weiland

        Huge haul. Did they get anything when Teix went to NY? Comp picks?

        • Brett

          They actually traded him to the Angels after the season for Casey Kotchman and Stephen Marek. Ouch.

          • Jack Weiland

            Oh right! I forgot. And the Angels got comp picks? Do you know who they took with those?

            • BD

              Angels comp picks for Teixeira: Mike Trout and Tyler Skaggs.

              They used Skaggs as the main piece (IMO) to get Dan Haren.

              Basically, it worked out for every team involved except the Braves!

              • Jack Weiland

                Nice, you rule.

                And dang, yeah. Every team made out like a bandit except the Braves. Although they did get a year (two half years?) out of Teixera? hahah rough

          • Jack Weiland

            So they turned Andrus, Feliz, Salty and Harrison into Casey Kotchman and Stephen Marek. That’s gotta hurt.

            The BN message board would explode if the Cubs did that.

    • Norm

      Adam Wainwright, Neftali Feliz, Matt Harrison

      • cubs217

        Thanks. Yeah I was just looking at that Texeria deal, the Braves gave up a ton to get him. Harrison, Feliz, Andrus and Saltalamacchia…

    • Joe

      Neftali Feliz went from the Braves to the Rangers in the Teixeira deal.

  • Jack Weiland

    Not sure if this was linked elsewhere on BN, but I saw yesterday on MLBtraderumors that the Jays are still looking to be buyers, and obviously pitching is a need, despite being a little back in the standings.

    I know there was some talk of “Yeah they have a need, but now will they just sit it out and hope for the best next year” … looks like as of yesterday they’re still very much in the market for an arm or two.

    • rcleven

      Looks like they are looking for pitchers just to finish the season out. Look more like hanger ins than go fir’s.

  • hansman1982

    How about this, Garza, Dempster, Castro, Soriano for everyone listed on this page.

    • Brett

      Haha. Yes, if you’re including the comments…

      • Jack Weiland

        Real quick then before we finalize this: Daniel Norris, Aaron Sanchez, Noah Synde … Synder … that Noah guy from Toronto …

  • LWeb23

    Does anyone else agree it would make more sense for the Braves to get Dempster than Garza? Dempster could take Beachy’s spot for the rest of the season, and then Dempster would be gone next year and Beachy could take his spot back.
    There was talk of a move even before the Beachy injury, but maybe the Braves feel confident that one of their young guns will be ready for next year, therefore not needing to trade for a multi-year SP.

    • Grant

      TJ surgery takes 12-18 months to recover from. Beachy is likely out until the middle of next season at the earliest, and likely misses the entire season.

      • Vladimir

        Yeah that’s true, in that case Garza’s year and a half of control fits them pretty well.

        • BD

          Plus, that would allow them to either trade Garza next July, or even offer arbitration at the end of next year (since they’ll have controlled him for all of 2013).

          That second point is exactly why the Cubs will trade him before next season, if they do in fact trade him.

    • Jack Weiland

      I don’t think this will factor into things very much. After all, having Matt Garza AND Brandon Beachy in your rotation is better than either/or. They’re not mutually exclusive.

      My guess is it’ll come down to a cost benefit analysis and which both sides feel most comfortable with.

      That said, I would MUCH prefer a team with Toronto than one with Atlanta.

  • Andrewmoore4isu

    In other news– j. Turner looked strong against the world champs

    • cubs217

      5 BB’s though, that will catch up to him

      • Blitzenjohn

        Turner is 21. A little experience, hopefully, would cut down on the BB’s. I love the idea of Turner on the Cubs staff.

  • Vladimir

    As far as your Caveat Brett. You’ve got to feel atleast a bit confident that our FO are pretty good talent evaluators themselves and hopefully don’t get “Whammy’d” in a potential deal with Atlanta. In other words, they might target someone Atlanta doesn’t want to move and say if we don’t atleast get him + no deal. That’s what I’m hoping anyway.

    • Brett

      Certainly. Old fears die hard, I suppose.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        That’s why I never leave home without silver bullets and some garlic…..

  • ngl89

    I would love to send Dempster and part of his contract to Atlanta if we could get Christian Bethancourt back for him. He might be 2 years away from the show, which would be along with the Cubs plan, but he is a top rated catcher that is blocked by McCann in Atlanta. If we have to throw in someone else we can, but any chance that might happen?

    • rcleven

      Since Demp will be a rent a player I really don’t see more than a low level high upside type in return.

  • HotStoveCubbies

    Love the idea of getting Dempster involved with the Braves and Garza with the Blue Jays. Can you imagine the haul of prospects the Cubs could get from each place along with the international free agents and draft class?! Talk about loading up your farm system in one year!

  • Featherstone

    Yeah you have to be leery of anyone the Braves part with in a trade, but you also have to at some point believe in your FO’s ability to get talent back in trades. I for one, have faith in Theo/Jed’s eye for talent and am confident that (at least more than with Hendry) that things will work out ok.

  • Norm

    I think we can scratch the Blue Jays off the Dempster/Garza destination list. They’ll probably get a 2nd/3rd tier guy (M. Guthrie) to give the fan base the appearance of them going for it, but they just had too many injuries for them to really go for it.

    • Jack Weiland

      I think it’s unlikely they go all in on a crazy package, but I think crossing them off the list entirely would be premature. Especially since there was a story as recently as yesterday that they’re still in buy mode.

  • Cub Gone Wild

    Um. When in Rome does as the Romans do… Rape and Pillage the Atlanta Braves organization. Why don’t we just send Garza and Dempster both to the Braves and take all the good stuff they have and we can find. If they landed Garza and Dempster from us they would be sure fire winners of the NL East. With run support and defense behind Garza and Dempster the would be quite the duo in Atlanta. Rape and Pillage Theo. Got get’em while they are still spinning.

  • Cub Gone Wild

    Maybe we can throw in a couple of utility players like Baker and Johnson to make them feel less abused. You know maybe the entire Cubs roster just needs a change of scenery and the Fulton County Stadium might just be the place.

    • Bric

      I believe Fulton County Stadium is now a parking lot. The Braves’s been playing in Turner Field since the ’96 Olympics. Side note- Fulton County is not an ideal place for anyone to get a fresh start in Atlanta. Cobb county’s a much better place to go if you have to relocate.

  • THEOlogical

    I’ve watched the Braves since ’90 and so I know a little about how they work. Frank Wren was a new GM when he made the Tex move and “once bitten, twice shy” comes to mind. They wont trade their 3rd base prospect for Chipper leaving. J.J., Delgado and Viscaino are not and should not be the key pieces to a trade. They would love to just throw in J.J. for any player. I really like Teheran, he has front of the rotation type stuff. Medlen is a long reliever but can help out and be a solid 4-5 guy. Also, Minor is a kid I would love to have, he has been off and on this year but in a year or two, he could net you 13-17 wins.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      I finally gave up on Minor in my keeper league, and I keep reading that the Braves might do the same; however, that does not mean that he wouldn’t make a good exchange for Dempster.  Minor has talent and a live arm; he just always seems to lose it for one inning.

      • Smitty

        That reminds me of Volstad…and I’m already not interested in dealing with watching him.

      • THEOlogical

        Yeah Minor is probably on the outs with the Braves but he has shown flashes of good quality games. I just feel if he is an add on to the trade, it’s a pretty darn good one. He needs some more development, I still don’t believe he has reached his peak value.

  • Cub Gone Wild

    I wonder if most a 25 man roster has ever been moved in one multi team trade at one time. Back in the old days guys Bill Veck mighta done something like that. Maybe Ricketts sells the Cubs to the owner of the Braves and vice versa. Problem solved. We move the Cubs as they are today to Atlanta and move the Braves to Chicago. Hell Major League teams used to move all over the damned place on the drop of a hat. I might be onto something here. Anybody got Ricketts cell phone number?

    • Pete

      In the late 1970’s, I read an article in TSN where it said a straight up swap of teams almost occurred in the 1950’s involving the Orioles and I cannot remember the other team. The thing that began the dismantling of the trade was the O’s wanted to hold onto a prospect. Some kid named Brooks something or other.

  • Steve

    Featherstone…as much as I understand your reasoning, don’t we have scouts that are charged with evaluating the same talent?
    Yes, the Braves scouting and development is superior to most clubs, yet how much of a falloff can their be from club to club?
    When we handed over the prospects for Garza, were we snickering under our collective breath (he he he we snookered them!!)? No, we all went ‘Holy $hit!!!”
    If we are afraid to deal with a certain club because we think they are smarter than us, we might as well pack it in boys and girls.

  • Cub Gone Wild

    Maybe we can send the Braves Stewart as well as Baker and Johnson. Hell that cleans that mess up rather nicely. Garza and Dempster along with the above for a top notch catcher, 3B, 3 top pitching prospects at AA or AAA and take Jurgens and what ever other low hanging fruit we might find. Some real good A and AA prospects or more pitching talent that a year or two away. The key is send them Both Demp and Garza and our scrubs

  • Kbreezy

    If the Orioles are still looking at Soriano, what would be a fair return, assuming the Cubs paid a little more off Soriano than they would like in order to get a better prospect out of the deal?

    I’ve also been comparing some prospects in the AL East to see who may be the best match for Garza. I still think it’s Detroit, with Turner and Castellanos being the return prospects. Turner had an impressive outing in St. Louis today, despite his EXTREMELY high walk total. Just think about a rotation with the top two being Samardzjia and Turner. That would be something else.

  • CastrotoBarneytoLaHair

    For what its worth, is reporting the Blue Jays picked up Sean O’Sullivan (RHP) for cash considerations after picking up Pauley from the Angels the other day. Looks like they want to try and go the “cheap” route instead of trading for either Garza or Dempster…

    • Carew

      How bout a deal for randy wells and some cash?

    • Jack Weiland

      If they still see themselves as contenders (as being in “buy” mode would indicate) I highly doubt they think scrap heap pickups like those are going to push them over the top.

  • Cub Gone Wild

    I got a feeling the market might get stingy. If nobody can pull away these teams might keep fighting with what they got and maybe have some strong talent they can bring up to fill needs. And then we are left with the same crap we got now and that would just suck

    • DocPeterWimsey

      The market might be stingy simply as a reaction to the new CBA.  Prospects now are worth more to their teams than they were 12 months ago.  However, let’s wait until 1 August before we conclude that emphatically!

  • CEO

    Every time I hear or read the name Hayden Simpson I get angry!!! Not at the kid but at the morons that drafted him in the 1st round.

    • Jack Weiland

      Very, very bad selection. I’m pretty forgiving on prospect flameouts, but man … I can’t think of a worse/more weird first round selection.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Matt Bush.

        • Jack Weiland

          Right, he came to mind … and I guess it depends on how much you value #1 vs. picking in the teens … but people had at least heard of Matt Bush at the time. Hayden Simpson came out of thin air for a LOT of people.

        • Jack Weiland

          And, furthermore, everyone at least understood the thought process on Matt Bush. The Padres couldn’t/wouldn’t pay a high premium for that pick. Hayden Simpson was just WEIRD.

          • Chris

            While not on par with Simpson, wasn’t Tyler Colvin’s pick a little weird too? I vaguely remember many “experts” ripping Wilken for taking him. Hopefully they threw away the radar gun that they used to scout Simpson. I know he had Mono, but he has never gotten close to a mid-90’s fastball since.

            • Drew7

              Yeah, the Colvin pick was weird, but most of the talent was gone by then, right? I don’t think anyone who was highly touted going in and would have been available has ever amounted to anything have they?

          • Drew7

            “and I guess it depends on how much you value #1 vs. picking in the teens”

            The drop-off historically in production of players drafted number 1 vs number 2 is drastic, nevermind 1 vs 11-19. So there’s definitely a huge advantage with the #1 pick.

            But if you cant afford top talent there, well, thats a different story.

  • rbreeze

    Unless a GM of a contending team wants to beat everyone esle to the pitch and offer us the moon soon, then the real action will happen after the all-star break.  I say Dempster makes two starts proves he is healthy and then may be gone.

  • Matty V

    Is catcher a position of need for the Cubs? Aren’t the Cubs thinking of trading Soto because of the young catching they have behind him?

  • Dumpgobbler

    Dempster and Russell for Gilmartin and Minor anyone?

  • Jonski

    If im Theo and Jed im staying far away from the Braves unless they include #1 pitching prospect and we need pitching not a catcher unless he pitches too.I would think Detroit is the match for Garza and the Dodgers are the most likely destination for Dempster if they pony up a half way decent pitching prospect that is knocking on the door.

    • Njriv

      “…we need pitching not a catcher unless he pitches too…” that’s a clown statement bro.

      • Mick6X

        Do i smell a clone?

      • Jonski

        My point is your trading your 2 best pitchers in your rotation with no real pitching coming in the minors so why in the hell would you want a catcher.We have 1 shot at getting decent return from Garza and Dempster!

        • Mick6X

          I completely agree, i believe the only thing we should be hunting for at this time is pitching prospects

          • Njriv

            I think so too, but if we trade Garza and get a bundle back, I really doubt they will ALL be pitchers, I think you’ll have a position player thrown in there.

            • Jonski

              Im thinking maybe 2 pitchers 2 position players …I just don’t like Braves for a trade partner all these damn Tommy Johns in the last 3 years would scare me off if I was a gm.

  • chirogerg

    What about Dempster, Garza, and PTBNL for Teheran and Bethancourt

    • Jonski

      Add Medlan or Minor and that works,but the Braves aren’t cutting Teheran loose IMHO… also I think Theo/Jed are looking for multiple pitching prospects .

    • The Show

      Maybe Joe Terdoslavich?

  • Patrick W.

    I really think Jair Jurrjens has a future in the big leagues. If you could pick him up by throwing in a guy like Jeff Baker or an extra bit of cash I would like that deal. Although they have little to no use for Jeff Baker, but then again, neither to I. (No, I have no good reason for this, we all get out pet ‘I hate that guy’ guys)

  • Benny

    We definately need a catcher. Soto most likely will be gone next year. I really don’t see Wellington Castillo as our future catcher now. He is a good player but is he really going to perform well as our catcher? I’d like to see the Cubs trade pitching like Garza or Dempster to the Bluejays. I really like Travis D’Arnaud of the Bluejays. He is being blocked by JP Arencibia. I also really like Ryan Lavarnway. He is a really good hitter and is definately big league ready.

    • Chief

      Good luck prying D’Arnaud away from Toronto. AA knows exactly what he’s doing at all times. JP Arencibia is a possibility for the Cubs. D’Arnaud is not.

      • Serious Cubs Fan

        I want nothing to do with JP Arencibia. Have you seen that OBP? That batting Avg!? God awful. He has one benefit in his game which is power. He has a .224 avg, .261 OBP. Those are trash numbers and it doesn’t fit into Theo’s hitting theory. He does have 9 homers. He has premium power at that position but its not like he has the ability to hit 30 homers to make up for the swing and miss in his game and lack of OBP. He see more Wellington Castillo as more of qualified starting catcher then him. He will have a better avg, better OBP but he might give a little but in the power category. But wellington has above avg pop for a catcher. Plus JP Arencibia’s arbitration clock has already started which makes him less valuable.

  • Big Joe

    Too bad for Beachy. He grew up a couple hours south of me, in Kokomo, Indiana. I’m always pulling for a local guy.

    • Brett

      He got there fast, and then he took it slow.

      • cubchymyst

        way down in kokomo.

      • Jp

        Damn how did I miss that one… I’m normally all over that

      • Steve

        Well played…Didn’t even see that one coming. Dang.

  • Patrick G

    Would the giants be a fit or interested in LaHair? They need offense and are right there with the Dodgers. I like Joan Gregorio and Kyle Crick from there system. Both young and need some time, but high upside and that could force the Dodgers to be quick to trade for Dempster, maybe trading more than they really wanted to

    • Cheryl

      Sounds like a good idea. LaHair needs a change of scenery and if it betters the retur on Dempster, fine. But I wonder if the Braves won’t be heavily involved now.

      • Patrick G

        Those would be 2 good returns for LaHair. Dempster to LA for some pitching(hopefully Lee or Eovaldi) and Garza to Atlanta for a few of their good pitching prospects. Think those would be a big boost pitching wise for the farm system and future

        • Serious Cubs Fan

          I don’t think the dodgers would give up Lee or Evaldi for Demp. They are probably willing to only give up a top 5-10 prospect for him. But I hope I’m wrong

    • Drake

      I wouldn’t think the Giants would be interested based on the current composition of their lineup. They have guys like Aubrey Huff, Buster Posey and Brandon Belt all sharing time at first as it is. Somebody like David DeJesus probably makes a little bit more sense than LaHair because they have a bit of a need for a corner outfielder and at AT&T they would need someone who wouldn’t be much of a concern defensively.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        The Giants are utter doofußes for not starting Belt.  His minor league numbers are absolutely sick, including his 2 years in AAA ( .291/.436/ .535).  In MLB, he’s been snake bit by BABiP, but still walks 15% of the time and has a very good isoP of 0.18 considering the parks in which he plays.  Yet they still run Aubrey “I Got a Big Hit in the World Series!” Huff out there…..

        In short?  They shouldn’t trade for LaHair, they should lose Huff and just go with Belt.

  • Jp

    Brett I keep waiting for a headline along the lines of: BOOM!! Dempster/Garza traded to ____ for two top 10 prospects in their system. Do you think that’s what we’re looking for? Obviously Garza should haul in more being a few years younger but both should be good

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      In a trade for Garza I would like to see 2 top 5 prospects in another teams system. Dempster is more worth 1 marginal top 5 prospect in teams system. I would be thrilled if we could get 2-4 top prospect in another teams minor league system for him. I just have a bad feeling that we won’t get the type prospect that we are all hoping for for dempster. I’m not getting my hopes up

      • Drew7

        I still think its hard to make a statement like, “so and so is worth a marginal top 5 prospect” just because of the vast difference in systems.

        Take the Cubs 2011 system vs their 2012 system:

        in 2011, 4-6 would have been H.J Lee, Vitters, and Carpenter
        2012: 4-6 is probably Almora/Baez, Jackson, and as of now, maybe Lake?

        If im a team on the fringe of contention at the deadline, I would probably grab Demp if Im giving up Lee. Almora, Baez, or Jackson? Im passing on him at that price.

        • Serious Cubs Fan

          Ya agreed. The word marginal leaves a lot of wiggle room in that statement, in terms of prospect ranking. The cubs aren’t going to get anything close to the talent level of baez, jackson, or rizzo for dempster. No one is that desperate these days bc teams are smart enough not give up upper tear star quality prospects for just a good rent a player like dempster. I the case of Garza trade I want 2 prospects in the Baez, Jackson, rizzo category and maybe a fringe high upside low level minors guy who could be a top 10 in a system. And even then I idk if a team is willing to part with much for Garza, because he really isn’t having a great year (but talent and ability and extra year of control are still there). I’m being a really pessimist about everything because I don’t want to get let down or disappointed.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Instead of “Top 5” why not just think “Top 150”?  Each team averages 5 guys in the Top 150, after all.

          Now, step back: do we really want guys ranked 100 and 110 overall?  I think that for Garza, we want a Top 50 guy (i.e., at least 2nd best in a Utopian Farm World).

    • Brett

      Garza, definitely. I’ve come around on Dempster, and I do now think the Cubs will get a surprisingly good return. Which mostly means I’m setting myself up for disappointment. It’s just been so hard to gauge the impact of the CBA changes, because they cut in both directions.

      • Jonski

        Not to mention trading for prospects is so iffy anyway,but if Garza is searching for a no trade clause the front office doesn’t really have a choice.