Braves general manager is willing to listen to deals

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ATLANTA — Braves general manager Frank Wren said Friday the “tightest market I’ve ever seen” could make it difficult for the team to trade for a starting pitcher to replace Tim Hudson.

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Atlanta's Brian McCann follows through with a double as St. Louis' Yadier Molina (4) looks on in the second inning.  JOHN BAZEMORE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
JOHN BAZEMORE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Atlanta's Brian McCann follows through with a double as St. Louis' Yadier Molina (4) looks on in the second inning.

Wren said the Braves have sufficient depth to withstand the loss of Hudson, but he also said he’s willing to pay for a pitcher who could help them win the World Series.

Hudson’s wife, Kim, said on her Twitter account that her husband’s season-ending surgery on his broken right ankle went well Friday. The surgery was performed by Braves physician Dr. Marvin Royster.

Hudson was injured Wed­nesday when the Mets’ Eric Young Jr. inadvertently stepped on the back of the pitcher’s lower right leg at first base.

Asked how Hudson’s injury affects his search for help before Wednesday’s trade deadline, Wren said “I don’t know if it will change anything.”

Manager Fredi Gonzalez said Brandon Beachy, recovering from right elbow ligament-replacement surgery in June 2012, will take the rotation spot Monday against Colorado.

Paul Maholm, who left his start at the White Sox on July 20 with a bruised left wrist, might miss only one more start.

Wren confirmed that Braves special assistant to the general manager Jim Fregosi was in Chicago when Jake Peavy started Thursday. Wren said Fregosi’s scouting trip “had been planned for weeks and weeks.”

The Braves have also been linked with Houston’s Bud Norris and Kansas City’s Ervin Santana. Wren said the trade options are slim.

“I think it’s the tightest market I’ve ever seen,” Wren said. “In 22 years I’ve never seen a trade market as tight and as thin in the number of available players.

“I think a big part of that is with the addition of the wild card there are so many teams that are still close enough that they’re not ready to give up. They’re not ready to start trading. There’s a lot more of us that are in it than are out of it and it’s a real seller’s market. We’re working through that.”

Wren said he normally has two legal pages filled with potential trade scenarios. This year he said the names of players and potential trade partners fill only half of a page.

Wren said adding payroll is not an issue.

“It’s going to be the talent we have to give up and it’s also understanding how much of an upgrade a particular player is for us,” he said. “In the market are there pitchers out there who would make us better? Yes. The number of them is pretty low.”

The NL East-leading Braves began Friday’s schedule eight games ahead of Washington and Philadelphia. Wren said his focus is on the final two months of the regular season, but he added he’s looking for a pitcher who could improve a postseason rotation.

“I think you’re looking at big picture as far as we want to win the World Series,” Wren said. “So is there a guy that really makes that kind of difference? If there is, I think you’re willing to pay for it. If there’s not a guy you see as a key contributor to a playoff team if you get there, probably you’re less likely to give up a lot.”

Gonzalez and Wren said they are confident Hudson, 38, will return next season.

“I have no doubt in my mind the way he goes about his business,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez said Hudson can help on the bench in the final two months.

“All the guys know he’s a beloved teammate and friend,” Gonzalez said. “I think we’ll rally behind Huddy and we’ll be fine. I told him I want him here and in uniform as soon as possible.”

BRAVES’ MINOR SHUTS DOWN CARDINALS

ATLANTA — Mike Minor allowed only one run to give Atlanta’s depleted rotation a lift, Jason Heyward homered, and the Braves beat Adam Wainwright and the St. Louis Cardinals 4-1 in a matchup of division leaders Friday night.

Minor (10-5) gave up four hits with no walks in seven innings. Craig Kimbrel recorded his 29th save.

Wainwright (13-6), the NL leader in wins, took his first loss since a 2-1 decision to Texas on June 23.

• Waffle House, whose headquarters are in Norcross, Ga, opened a stand at the ballpark. It will serve the classic, chocolate chip and peanut butter waffles and hashbrowns.

– From wire reports


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