Tigers, Braves discussing trade involving Derek Lowe?


The Braves have a six-game lead in the National League Wild Card and trail the Phillies by only three games in the National League East, but they may be open to dealing a prominent member of their starting rotation before the July 31 trade deadline.

According to Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com, the Tigers have approached the Braves about acquiring veteran right-hander Derek Lowe. And Atlanta’s front office may be ready to listen.

The Braves have one of the top rotations in the majors and possess great pitching depth in the minor leagues. They can get rid of Lowe, who has registered an underwhelming 4.30 ERA in 20 starts this season, and get equal — if not better — production from Julio Teheran or Mike Minor down the stretch.

Atlanta’s preference is to acquire a major league-ready right-hitting outfielder by the deadline, but Morosi says the organization may be content with dumping salary and netting young talent in a deal involving Lowe.

Lowe, 38, is making a whopping $15 million this season and is owed another $15 million in 2012.

Mike Fiers may not be ready for start of regular season due to back issue

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Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”

Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.

Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.