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5 Lefty Reliever Trade Candidates For The Atlanta Braves

Now that Atlanta has sent Luis Avilan and his 4.85 ERA back down to the minors, the Braves need for a veteran lefty reliever is even greater than it was before the All-Star break. Still tied with the Nationals for first place in the division and without any top prospects to call up or reserve cash to purchase a major upgrade, the team’s chances at the post-season could well hinge on fortifying the pen. Here are five potential trade candidates that seem ripe for the picking. Come on Frank Wren, pick up that phone!

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Andrew Miller – If you believe the online rumors, the Red Sox 29 year-old is the Braves' top target. His sparkling 2.13 ERA and .947 WHIP would be a welcome addition to just about any contender. He'll be a free agent at season's end.

James Russell – 28 year-old Russell is sporting a 2.86 ERA and 1.094 WHIP for the lowly Cubs this season. He won't be a free agent until 2016, but given the fire sale going on right now in Chicago, he's probably available.

Tony Sipp – Like Russell, this 31 year-old member of the Astros won't be a free agent until 2016, but his 2.67 ERA and excellent .815 WHIP would look great in a Braves uniform rather than continue to toil for the perpetual Houston cellar-dwellers.

Oliver Perez – Signed through next season, this 32 year-old Diamondback has an outstanding 2.00 ERA to go along with a 1.139 WHIP. Currently sitting 11.5 games behind the NL West leading Giants, Arizona may be open to sending the veteran to a winner for the right price despite having already traded away their other left-handed reliever, Joe Thatcher, to the Angels two weeks ago.

Neal Cotts – While his 3.48 ERA and 1.379 WHIP don't quite measure up to the other targets on my list, the Rangers appear to be eager to sell their pending free agents so the 34 year-old Cotts may be able to be had at a bargain rate.

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