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MLB Trade Rumors: Atlanta Braves Scout Mariners Pitcher Jason Vargas

The Atlanta Braves are making no effort to hide that they are looking into acquiring a starting pitcher (or two) before the July 31 trade deadline, and they've been linked to quite a few players in recent days. While Atlanta is reportedly interested in front-end starters such as Zack Greinke and Matt Garza, they've also been linked to a couple of guys who would fill in the back of the rotation.

Jason Vargas of the Mariners would fit into the mold of a No. 5 starter, and the Braves have recently been scouting him. Here is Jayson Stark with the latest.

The Braves continue their hunt for what one exec categorized as "an impact starting pitcher" -- but not necessarily the usual suspects. Their customary M.O. is not to shop for rent-a-players. So it makes sense that one starter they've scouted extensively is Seattle's Jason Vargas, who can't be a free agent until after next season.

I don't see a fit at all.

Vargas, 29, has an ERA of 4.54 in 2012 and career ERA of 4.53, both of which come in pitcher-friendly Safeco Field. His FIP, which negates the defense played behind him, is 5.04 this season and 4.50 for his career. That's also not very impressive.

Vargas doesn't walk many batters, but he doesn't strike many out, either. Other than eat innings -- he's on pace to pitch nearly 200 innings for the third straight season -- Vargas doesn't really do anything well.

Don't expect much more to come from this rumor unless Atlanta completely misses out on four or five of their other targets for the trade deadline.

For more on the Braves, check out Talking Chop.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.