The latest from the ATL…
- While the Braves were heavily linked to the starting pitching market, GM Alex Anthopoulos told reporters (including Gabriel Burns of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution) that the team was “never even remotely close” to landing an arm for the rotation. “At the end of the day, where we thought there were deals that made sense for us, we felt like the bullpen made the most sense,” Anthopoulos said. “We definitely tried for other areas, but we obviously couldn’t line up on a deal that made sense for our organization.” Of course, the Braves already made a noteworthy starting pitching addition in June when Dallas Keuchel was signed, and Anthopoulos’ front office heavily bolstered the pen over the last two days with trades for Shane Greene, Mark Melancon, and Chris Martin.
- One of the starters the Braves had interest in was the biggest name moved at the trade deadline, as ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports (Twitter link) that the “Braves were in on” negotiations about Zack Greinke with the Diamondbacks. However, Atlanta ultimately decided “it was just too pricey, and too much risk on an older pitcher.” The Astros ended up landing Greinke for a big trade package that included four prospects and covering $53MM of Greinke’s salary obligations.
- Speaking of the Greene deal, the Braves were able to make that trade without including catcher Alex Jackson, as Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Atlanta turned down the Tigers’ ask for the 23-year-old prospect. Jackson is ranked as the the 26th-best prospect in Atlanta’s system by MLB Pipeline, and is in the midst of a huge season at Triple-A (.887 OPS in 283 PA). Picked sixth overall by the Mariners in the 2014 draft, Jackson’s prospect stock dropped after a slow start to his pro career, though a position switch to catcher three years ago and this season’s hitting breakout has gotten him back on the radar.