David O’Brien dropped a juicy nugget yesterday, reporting that the Braves are showing interest in starting pitchers Chris Archer, Jose Quintana and Sonny Gray. The Braves were linked to these names last year as well, but obviously nothing came to fruition.
DOB mentions that the Braves had a scout at Gray’s last start, but Archer and Quintana are higher on their list. Both are great pitchers, but with the pipeline of prospects the Braves have, it may be foolish to make a move for a frontline guy now. However, the Braves are making a serious push and are due to get Freeman back, so this could be in the case that they do something special between now and the trade deadline.
One would think now would be a good time to buy low on Quintana, but his value likely has not been drastically affected due to his established resume.
At the same time, part of a rebuild is knowing which pieces to part with to garner better assets. That is a big part of what John Coppolella did over the winter, so expect more of that in the case that the team is not selling. Right now, it is anybody’s guess what the Braves record will be by then, but if they are within 6 games of Washington, they may try to make a push with the return of Freddie Freeman. The Braves could also benefit from adding a frontline guy with experience. The question is whether now is the time to make a move. If so, keep an eye on Justin Verlander as well, though he has a very expensive contract and Detroit would have to pay a bunch of the bill.
In Coppy we trust.