Braves: Potential one-year contract starting pitching free agent options

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Today, I will continue this series of potential one-year contract free-agent options, this time moving on to starting pitchers. This is a market that’s already been red-hot early this offseason, with Jose Berrios receiving a seven-year mega-contract to stay with the Blue Jays and guys like Noah Syndergaard and Justin Verlander signing lucrative one-year deals. There’s no doubt it will be pricey if Alex Anthopoulos wants to bring in a high-quality rotation option, but I think he would love to find a veteran on a one-year deal to add to his staff.

To read the first part of this series, click the link below:

Clayton Kershaw

Kershaw is probably in line for a two-year deal, and I don’t see him leaving Los Angeles for Atlanta, given that it has become an intense rivalry over the last few years. However, I’m not going to completely count it out because I could see him settling for a one-year contract with a contender if Los Angeles is unwilling to pony up the money to keep him. The three-time Cy Young award winner will be 34 next year and is coming off his worst season since his rookie campaign, but that still wasn’t too shabby, recording a 3.55 ERA.

Alex Cobb

Another man entering his age-34 season, Cobb had some fantastic seasons with the Rays but ultimately fell off once he moved to Baltimore. However, in 2021, Cobb found some of his old magic, posting a 3.76 ERA with the Angels over 18 starts, and his 2.92 FIP suggests he was quite unlucky. I don’t imagine he will be too expensive this offseason, and he could be a quality option for the back-end of the Braves rotation.

Rich Hill

The ageless Rich Hill was once again quite good in 2021 for the Rays and Mets, recording a 3.86 ERA over 31 starts. That last part is the most impressive. He was able to start 31 games at 41-years-old. Some team will give him another opportunity to do so next year, and it might make sense for the Braves, given how inexpensive he will be.

Corey Kluber

Kluber had his ups and downs with the Yankees, including a no-hitter against the Texas Rangers, but injuries once again limited him to just 16 starts. He’ll be accepting a one-year deal from someone, and I would expect the Braves to be among the teams interested.

Johnny Cueto

Once one of the best pitchers in the National League, injuries have plagued Cueto his entire time in San Francisco. However, for that reason, he won’t command very much this offseason. On an inexpensive one-year contract, he could be a decent buy-low option.

Zack Greinke

For the first time in his career, Greinke has looked human over the last two seasons, but perhaps a change of scenery can help that. I imagine he will want to play for a contender, and at 38, it makes sense for him to accept a one-year deal. I like the idea of Greinke finishing his career in Atlanta with a World Series win.

Dylan Bundy

Bundy carried the Angels lowly pitching staff during the shortened 2020 season, posting a 3.29 ERA and finishing in the top ten in the AL Cy Young race. However, he was part of the problem in 2021, recording a career-worst 6.06 ERA over 23 appearances (19 starts). He’ll probably cost next to nothing, and the Braves could see him as a potential reclamation project.




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