With the MLB season over, the hot stove is beginning to heat up, and the Braves have recently been linked to their first big name of the offseason — Adam Wainwright.
According to David O’Brien of The Athletic, Atlanta is interested in bringing home the lumbering, six-foot-seven right-hander that they originally drafted in the first round of the 2000 MLB draft.
— The Athletic Atlanta (@TheAthleticATL) October 30, 2020
Before ever making his MLB debut in Atlanta, Wainwright was the headline prospect in the trade that landed outfielder J.D. Drew — a move the Braves would go on to regret for more than a decade.
Wainwright went on to have a brilliant fifteen-year career with the Cardinals in which he was an All-Star three times and finished as the NL Cy Young runner-up twice. He has a career 3.38 ERA and has been even better in the postseason, boasting a 2.98 ERA in 28 appearances (15 starts).
Even though Wainwright’s going on 39, he’s yet to show much sign of regression. He pitched a gem in the 2019 NLDS against the Braves, shutting them out over 7.2 innings and finished 2020 with a 5-3 record and 3.15 ERA over ten starts.
With Mike Soroka expected to return early next season, the Braves already have a formidable top three in their rotation that they should be more than comfortable rolling into 2021 with. However, the last two spots are up in the air. Kyle Wright and Bryse Wilson showed a lot of promise at the end of the season, but having a known commodity like Wainwright in the mix should make the Braves feel a lot more comfortable about the back end of their rotation heading into next season.
Regardless if a reunion with Wainwright is in the cards, this report gives us a glimpse of what the Braves are trying to do this offseason. I don’t expect them to be in on the starting pitchers that headline this free-agent class like Trevor Bauer and Marcus Stroman, but I do think their goal is to bring in a veteran with playoff experience to push their younger arms.
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