The Braves have been connected to a number of starting pitchers this offseason.
The first notable name was Aaron Nola. The club reportedly went after the long-time Phillies starting pitcher but ultimately lost out to their division rival, who re-upped with Philadelphia, inking a seven-year deal.
The Braves’ focus then reportedly turned to Sonny Gray, who signed with the Cardinals. Since, Atlanta’s been linked to other starting pitchers like Dylan Cease and Seth Lugo, but nothing has come to fruition.
It’s evident the Braves are looking to add a significant piece before the start of next season, and Alex Anthopoulos confirmed that at this year’s MLB Winter Meetings.
Alex Anthopoulos said the #Braves have explored a number of starting pitchers, both free agents and via trade. They'll continue to work on that this winter.
— Grant McAuley (@grantmcauley) December 5, 2023
As is, the Braves rotation isn’t in a dire position. Max Fried, Charlie Morton, and Spencer Strider is as formidable of a top three as any in the league. The club is also reportedly considering trying out the newly signed Reynaldo Lopez as a starter again. He could become a legitimate fourth option if things work out, while guys like Bryce Elder, AJ Smith-Shawver, Huascar Ynoa, and Hurston Waldrep round out the rotation.
That’s a pretty solid combination of top-end talent and depth. However, the Braves have watched injuries decimate their rotation in each of the last two seasons. If one of Max Fried, Spencer Strider, or Charlie Morton were to get hurt, they would find themselves in a pickle again. Wasting valuable years in the middle of this championship window cannot be tolerated after what’s happened in each of the last two postseasons.
The Braves have to add at least one more guy this offseason. It doesn’t have to be a superstar like Dylan Cease, but even a lesser option like Seth Lugo could prove hugely beneficial in 2024 and beyond.
Photo: Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire