Braves' GM denies team's interest in Boston's Penny

General manager Frank Wren said there was no truth to an ESPN.com report that said the Braves are interested in trading for Boston Red Sox pitcher Brad Penny.

"There is no validity to that," Wren said. "That has not even been discussed."

Several Braves players and manager Bobby Cox seemed equally surprised by the ESPN.com report, which speculated that the Braves might move Kenshin Kawakami to the bullpen.

Kawakami is in the first season of a three-year, $23 million contract. He is 3-6 with a 4.63 ERA, including a 3.19 ERA in six starts since May 1.

Penny is 5-1 with a 5.63 ERA in 10 starts, and has been the beneficiary of the fifth-highest run support among major league starters. The Red Sox have scored 7.95 runs per nine innings that he's pitched.

Kawakami has received the second-worst run support in the majors at 2.16 runs per nine innings pitched.

The ESPN.com report said the Red Sox have also been looking into Braves right fielder Jeff Francoeur as a possible backup outfielder.