Braves seen as “strong possibilities” for two top starting pitchers

MLB: MAY 17 Twins at Dodgers

It’s been an exciting day on the hot stove for Braves fans. It started with a bang when Jon Morosi reported that Shohei Ohtani is intrigued by the possibility of joining the Atlanta Braves. That still feels a little bit like a pipe dream. I’m not sure the Braves are going to be willing to meet his contractual demands like some other teams across the league.

However, Morosi has also reported that the Braves are seen as “strong possibilities” for two frontline starting pitchers — Aaron Nola and Sonny Gray.

I wrote about Aaron Nola earlier today. He makes a ton of sense because of his familiarity with the NL East and his durability. The Braves rotation has been decimated by injuries over the last few seasons. Adding some stability in the form of a pitcher that has made 32+ starts in every full season since 2018 has to be appealing to Alex Anthopoulos. However, it won’t come cheap. Some project Nola to fetch over $200 million in free agency. At that price point, it’s hard to imagine the Braves being seriously interested.

Sonny Gray, on the other hand, should cost significantly less. He’ll be 34 next season, but he’s coming off one of the best years of his career, posting a 2.79 ERA and league-leading 2.83 FIP, which resulted in him being named a finalist for the AL Cy Young award.

Since 2019, Gray owns a 3.22 ERA over 124 starts, and it’s important to note that he pitched half of his home games at Great American Ballpark for three out of five of those seasons. He would be an incredible land for the Braves, and he’ll probably require half the commitment that Aaron Nola will demand this offseason.

Photo: Photographer: Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire

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