There’s no debating what the Braves need this offseason — pitching.
Whether it’s the rotation or the bullpen, Alex Anthopoulos still has work to do. Charlie Morton, Pierce Johnson, and Joe Jimenez is a great start, but both facets could still use bolstering with the rotation being more pressing.
In fact, The Athletic considers the Braves the club most in demand for a free agent starting pitcher, placed in the ‘Highly motivated toward highest impact’ tier with the Dodgers.
“The Braves were justified in thinking they had the best team in baseball last season. They seem motivated to leave little doubt next year,” Chad Jennings of The Athletic writes.
The supply of starting pitchers is strong. There are the elite arms like Aaron Nola, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, and Blake Snell. Then there’s the next tier like Jordan Montgomery, Sonny Gray, Eduardo Rodgriguez, and Marcus Stroman.
There’s cheaper options like Lucas Giolito, Michael Wacha, Seth Lugo, and Jack Flaherty as well, but I think the Braves are big game hunting this offseason.
Jon Morosi has reported that the Braves are seen as “strong possibilities” for two frontline starting pitchers — Aaron Nola and Sonny Gray. Moreover, Atlanta was named a landing spot for the Japanese superstar Yamamoto by Bleacher Report.
There’s also the possibility that Alex Anthopoulos trades for a frontline starter. Corbin Burnes is a potential target as the Brewers consider selling off pieces. Though he’s not of the caliber of his teammate, Freddy Peralta is under team control for several years to come, which could be more attractive to AA.
The White Sox are also reportedly open for business. Dylan Cease is from Georgia and has some of the nastiest stuff in baseball.
The Braves don’t have a rich farm system, but they have enough valuable prospects to pull off almost any trade imaginable. They also appear to have the backing from ownership to target most any free agent. There are several avenues the Braves could use to bolster their starting pitching, and it seems one way or another that a marquee name could be joining the rotation next season.
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