The Braves still believe they have the best offer out there for Jake Peavy, even as some people in baseball believe that the Cubs are the favorites to land the San Diego right-hander. But even as they try for Peavy, the Braves are also making plans to go after other starting pitchers.
Dempster is believed to favor a return to the Cubs, who would like to keep their 17-game winner.
But the Braves are serious about upgrading their rotation, as general manager Frank Wren told my colleague Scott Miller at last week's GM meetings in California.
"We need a couple of starters," Wren said. "Maybe even more than that. I'd like to beef up our rotation. That's the area we've been known for."
Wren wouldn't talk specifics, but people who have talked to the Braves say that only CC Sabathia is definitely out of their price range. The Braves aren't interested in Ben Sheets, but sources said they will talk about any other free-agent starters.