With the biggest domino of the winter now fallen in Shohei Ohtani, the rest of the MLB can proceed with the offseason. David Schoenfield of ESPN predicted where the top free agents as well as trade targets will land, and the Braves weren’t even mentioned.
Schoenfield went through each player, giving possible landing spots and then his prediction of where they’d end up. Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who is set to garner a contract that could kiss $300 million, winds up signing with the Mets.
The next tier of starters — Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery — ink deals with the Giants and Yankees, respectively. The two hottest commodities on the trade market — Dylan Cease and Tyler Glasnow — are acquired by the Dodgers and Phillies, respectively.
The Braves were never going to be in on Yamamoto. Though some fans might not like to hear it, the club is probably not a legitimate possibility for Snell and Montgomery. The Braves projected luxury tax payroll right now for 2024 is already over $260 million, which is far deeper into the water than they’ve ever gone before. Expecting them to swim even further by handing out a contract for over $150+ million is wishful thinking, but perhaps this is the time the Braves really go all in.
However, to not be mentioned as an option for Cease or Glasnow is ridiculous. I wouldn’t consider them favorites by any means, but for Schoenfield to not even include Atlanta among the ‘best bets’ seems preposterous.
The Braves have an obvious need for a starter, so there’s motivation on Alex Anthopoulos’ side to get a potential deal done. Secondly, Anthopoulos has enough assets to interest the both the White Sox and Rays — i.e., A.J. Smith-Shawver, Hurston Waldrep, Bryce Elder, Vaughn Grissom, etc.
I have absolutely no idea why the Braves weren’t even mentioned. As stated, Atlanta shouldn’t be considered the favorites but possibilities to land Glasnow or Cease? Yeah, it’s possible.
David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire