Braves might face Michael Soroka during the first week of the season

MLB: JUL 02 Marlins at Braves

One of the toughest things for Braves Country to come to grips with this offseason was the departure of Michael Soroka.

After pitching at an NL Cy Young level as a rookie in 2019, back-to-back torn Achilles injuries derailed his career. Braves fans did get the opportunity to see Soroka return to the majors in 2023, one of the best moments of the season, and he showed flashes of what made him such a bright young star in the game early in his career. However, there wasn’t enough consistency for him to stick on a team with championship aspirations.

That left the Braves with a gut-wrenching decision to make this offseason. Michael Soroka was entering arbitration, set to earn around $3 million. But more notably, he was out of options, so if the Braves were to tender him a contract, they had to give him a spot on the major-league roster. If that weren’t the case, Alex Anthopoulos may have had no problem keeping him around as organizational depth in hopes he could regain form. But because the Braves couldn’t possibly afford to guarantee him a spot in the rotation, they really didn’t have a choice but to move on from one of the more beloved players in the franchise.

The marriage between the Braves and Michael Soroka ended when he was included in the trade that sent Aaron Bummer to Atlanta. Alex Antopoulos moved five players in the deal for another potential high leverage reliever, making the most out of a dismal situation.

Braves fans will always be left wondering “what if” when discussing Soroka’s potential had he not suffered from a plethora of injuries, but there’s not a soul that isn’t excited to see if the 26-year-old can bounce back with another team. In Chicago, Soroka can finally get some consistent starts at the major-league level, something he desperately needs.

Through three Spring Training starts, Soroka has only allowed a couple of earned runs over nine innings with 12 strikeouts. As of now, there’s a very real chance he makes Chicago’s Opening Day roster. That would be a helluva story given everything he’s overcome, but what makes this even more intriguing for Braves fans is Atlanta is slated to travel to Chicago following their opening series with the Phillies.

If things line up correctly, not only will Michael Soroka be handed a spot in the White Sox rotation, but he also might make his first career start for another team against the Atlanta Braves.

What a full circle moment that would be.

Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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