This past weekend, Chicago Cubs relievers James Russell and Wesley Wright were apparently in heavy circulation on the rumor wire, which is understandable given the respective situations of the Cubs, the relievers, and the teams in need of a lefty in the bullpen.
One of those latter teams is the Atlanta Braves, who stand a game behind the Nationals in the NL East. Injuries have ravaged the Braves’ starting rotation, which, in turn, necessarily places stress on the bullpen. Presently, the only lefty in the Braves’ pen is Luis Avilan, who sports a 4.25 ERA, 4.09 FIP, 4.21 xFIP, and a host of ugly peripherals.
It’s no surprise, then, that David O’Brien reports the Braves had a top scout watching Russell and Wright this week in Cincinnati:
— David O'Brien (@DOBrienAJC) July 9, 2014
The Cubs figure to shop those two in the run-up to the Trade Deadline on July 31, given that each represents a nice lefty arm for contenders, and each comes with another year of control after this season. For the Cubs, the bullpen has quickly become a source of quality depth, particularly as we look ahead into the near-term. They can afford to part with Russell and Wright.
Keep in mind: the return isn’t going to be enormous on either guy. You just hope for a relevant prospect, albeit one with warts.
The Braves will get a close-up look at the two guys this weekend when Atlanta comes to Wrigley for a three-game set.