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White Sox's Vazquez likely headed to Braves
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ATLANTA - The Atlanta Braves, in dire need for healthy veteran starting pitchers, have reached a tentative agreement to acquire right-hander Javier Vazquez from the Chicago White Sox in a six-player trade.

The teams agreed to the trade Tuesday, two people familiar with the deal said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the trade had not been finalized. The 32-year-old right-hander must take a physical for the deal to be completed, one of the people said, and he was likely to be examined Wednesday.

Atlanta, according to one of the people, agreed to send Chicago a package of four prospects, including power-hitting minor league catcher Tyler Flowers and shortstop Brent Lillibridge, among the organization's top stolen-base threats. The Braves also give up minor league third baseman Jon Gilmore and left-hander Santos Rodriguez.

In addition to Vazquez, the Braves would acquire reliever Boone Logan. The 24-year-old lefty was 2-3 with a 5.95 ERA in 55 games for Chicago last season.

The trade agreement and the players involved were reported earlier by several news outlets.

Vazquez was 12-16 with a 4.67 ERA in 33 starts for the AL Central champions this season, surpassing 200 innings for the eighth time in nine years. He is under contract for $11.5 million in the 2009 and 2010 seasons.

After Atlanta went 72-90, general manager Frank Wren entered the offseason saying his top priority was to add two starting pitchers. He emphasized the need to add veterans to take pressure off 2008 rookie starters Jair Jurrjens, Jorge Campillo and Charlie Morton.

Atlanta pursued Padres ace Jake Peavy before Wren said last month "we have moved on and shifted our focus" after San Diego didn't agree to what he called "a strong package of players."

Vazquez will join Jurrjens as the most established healthy starters in a rotation that has been decimated by injuries and free agency.

Braves right-hander Tim Hudson had elbow ligament replacement surgery on Aug. 7. John Smoltz and Tom Glavine also had season-ending arm operations, and their status for 2009 remains uncertain. Both are free agents.

Left-hander Mike Hampton reached a tentative agreement to sign with Houston.

Wren has said he would like to have Smoltz and Glavine back if they are able to pitch, but he said he must make other plans for the rotation. If healthy, Smoltz could return to the bullpen.

Vazquez's future prospects with the White Sox appeared dim after manager Ozzie Guillen said in September that he wasn't a big-game pitcher. In his last three regular-season starts and the playoff opener against Tampa Bay, Vazquez was 0-4 with a 13.22 ERA.

Vazquez has a 127-129 career record with Montreal, the New York Yankees, Arizona and the White Sox.

Flowers gained attention when he hit 12 homers in 20 games in the Arizona Fall League. He hit .288 with 17 homers at Class A Myrtle Beach last season.

Lillibridge hit .200 in 80 at-bats with Atlanta last season.

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