Alex Anthopoulos has not been shy about what he wants to add before the beginning of spring training, and a starting pitcher is right at the top of his list. The question is which one?
Several reports leaked over the weekend that former Cy Young award winner and World Series Champion, Dallas Keuchel, is at the top of the Braves “wish list”. Keuchel has not been the most consistent pitcher since winning the Cy Young in 2015, recording ERAs of 4.55, 2.90 and 3.74 over the last three seasons. Still, he is the type of pitcher that could come in an immediately lead a young Braves staff.
However, Mark Bowman tweeted out yesterday that the Braves have not been in contact with Keuchel or his representatives.
The Braves have not had any contact with Dallas Keuchel or his representatives
— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) December 3, 2018
This could mean nothing, as there is still plenty of time for the Braves to push and make this happen, but there are several teams reportedly interested in the former Astro. It seems odd the Braves would not have reached out to someone who is supposedly that high on their wish list.
A similar report came out regarding the Braves’ interest in the Indians valuable starting pitchers. According to Jon Morosi, The Braves are not talking with the Indians about a trade for Corey Kluber or Trevor Bauer.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 4, 2018
Corey Kluber- a two-time Cy Young award winner- would be the best pitcher the Braves have had in a while. He is the type of acquisition that would legitimately make Atlanta National League favorites to begin the season. With that being said, it is unknown just how willing the Indians are to pull the trigger on a Kluber deal. The Braves have a healthy farm system, but Alex Anthopoulos is not going to deal away the farm for one player.
Bauer is a 27-year old right-handed pitcher coming off a career year for the Tribe, going 12-6 with a 2.21 ERA and 5.7 WAR. If the Indians were to sell on him, there is no doubt they would be selling high. He has not had another season with a sub-4 ERA in his six-year career. The unknown surrounding what Bauer will be going forward might make it hard for two teams to come to an agreement.
Both of these reports probably are not what Braves fans want to hear, but I would not count them out of anything yet. AA has made it clear he is intent on adding a top-of-the-line starting pitcher, something the Braves desperately need if they are trying to win now. He is not going to leave any stone unturned.