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07/30/07 9:30 PM ET
Source says deal with KC not that close
Report indicating looming trade for Dotel may be premature
By Mark Bowman / MLB.com
ATLANTA -- While the Braves have made inquiries about Royals closer Octavio Dotel, an American League source said there is no validity to reports that have indicated the teams are close to finalizing a deal. In fact, this high-ranking official said Braves general manager John Schuerholz won't be able to get into any serious trade talks until the deal to bring Texas' Mark Teixeira and Ron Mahay to Atlanta is finalized on the Rangers' end. It's expected to be completed on Tuesday after all necessary medical reviews are completed. Until then, Schuerholz is unable to enter any other serious negotiations, including those that would fulfill his desire to improve his pitching staff. One National League scout said he wouldn't be surprised to see the GM land a veteran starting pitcher before Tuesday's 4 p.m. ET trade deadline arrives. A Major League source who would have knowledge of any negotiations between these teams said there was absolutely no truth to SI.com's report that the Braves were nearing a deal that would send Minor League shortstop Brent Lillibridge to the Royals in exchange for Dotel, who has converted 11 of his 14 save opportunities this year. If the Braves are going to end up with Dotel, it would more likely be in exchange for Kyle Davies, who Royals general manger Dayton Moore got to know well during his days in the Atlanta organization. Before becoming Kansas City GM last June, Dayton Moore spent more than 10 seasons making his way to the top of the Atlanta scouting and player development department. In his attempt to build a solid stable of young starting pitchers in Kansas City, there's definite reason to believe Moore would be tempted to acquire Davies in exchange for Dotel. But even though the 23-year-old Davies' inconsistencies led to a demotion to Triple-A Richmond earlier this month, the Braves still may want to continue developing his tremendous talents in hope that increased confidence will improve his mental approach. The suddenly pitching-needy Dodgers have also expressed interest in Dotel. They may be willing to get him in exchange for Minor League shortstop Chin-Lung Hu, who was named Futures Game MVP.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.