August 26, 2008

ATLANTA -- The Braves pulled Mark Kotsay from their starting lineup before Tuesday night's game in Atlanta, increasing the buzz around Turner Field that the outfielder is about to be traded.

Kotsay, in his first season with the Braves, cleared waivers earlier this month. Both the Brewers and Phillies have reportedly shown interest in Kotsay, who is hitting .289 with six homers and 37 RBIs in 87 games. The Red Sox, who put outfielder J.D. Drew on the disabled list earlier Tuesday with a herniated disc in his back, as SI.com's Jon Heyman reported, also are considered to be interested.

The word around Turner Field is that a trade could be announced by the end of the game. But on a rainy night on a slick field in Atlanta, the Braves weren't taking any chances with Kotsay, installing Gregor Blanco in center and putting Omar Infante in left.

A possible trade isn't expected to net the Braves much. But the team isn't interested in signing the 32-year-old Kotsay, who has a history of back troubles, for the 2009 season. Instead, the Braves are expected to be players in the free-agent market for a power outfielder, and they could give the job in centerfield to prospect Jordan Schafer.

Kotsay, who becomes a free agent after the season, is making $8 million this season, though his old team, the A's, are on the hook for at least $5 million of that.

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