Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/23/12

The Braves were reportedly close to finalizing a deal to acquire right-handed pitcher Ryan Dempster from the Cubs, which would bolster their starting rotation to make a run at the division-leading Washington Nationals, but Dempster said via Twitter that there was no trade.

Multiple outlets reported the deal was close, but contingent upon Dempster waving his full no-trade clause.

Dempster, 35, has a 5-4 record and a 2.11 ERA and has also drawn interest from the Tigers and Dodgers. He was on the disabled list earlier this month but has four straight seasons with at least 200 innings pitched and double-digit wins for the Cubs.

The Braves are using a starting rotation with stability at the top in Tommy Hanson and Tim Hudson, but Mike Minor and Jair Jurrjens have been shaky. No. 5 starter Ben Sheets has started two games and is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA since joining the Braves after the All-Star break.

The Cubs could ship out Dempster and right-hander Matt Garza to continue rebuilding their minor league system. Garza is 5-7 with a

3.91 ERA. The 28-year-old has 96 strikeouts in 103 2/3 innings but he left his latest start Saturday in St. Louis with tightness in his right triceps.

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