Five NL under-the-radar cash options for pitching depth

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At this point in the season, the Braves probably aren’t going to be able to pull off a big-time trade for starting pitching to help replace the void left by the injuries to Max Fried and Kyle Wright. However, I do expect them to be active in the waiver market and perhaps pluck someone off of a 40-man roster in exchange for cash. Not all of these guys could necessarily be traded for cash, as teams are still evaluating their depth and options. However, I wanted to look at a few guys who could be available sooner rather than later. American League is up next.

RHP Adrian Sampson — Chicago Cubs

The Cubs are still in the thick of things, but Sampson is down in AAA Iowa and hasn’t appeared in the majors yet. His numbers aren’t great, but he’s a vet the Braves could probably rely on in a pinch. In a cash acquisition, the risk isn’t that great, and they need a few warm bodies. If the Cubs fall out of contention, I’d set my sights to his teammate in the majors Justin Steele, who the Cubs could get a very healthy return for with the way he’s pitching.


RHP Riley Pint — Colorado Rockies

The former fourth overall pick Pint hasn’t really lived up to expectations, and he needs a fresh start. The Rockies aren’t exactly a model organization for developing starting pitching, but maybe he could find something in Gwinnett and become an emergency option — something the Braves are very short on.


RHP Jay Groome — San Diego Padres

The Padres are by no means out of the mix, but would they be willing to part with a former top prospect in Jay Groome? He has had a rough 2023, but he had a 1.29 ERA and 13 strikeouts over five appearances in Spring Training. Once a potential first overall pick, Groome didn’t work out with the Red Sox and was dealt for Eric Hosmer last year. I think he would be an interesting project.


LHP Zack Thompson — St. Louis Cardinals

I still don’t think the Cardinals are dead, but they could be interested in shipping off a piece like Thompson with other rotation options in the fold. Even if it takes a little more to get him, I could be interested. He hasn’t had a great year in AAA in limited action, but if the Braves can buy low on him, I’d be willing to take a chance on the former 19th overall pick.


LHP Daniel Castano — Miami Marlins

I usually try to stay away from division opponents in these hypotheticals, but cash acquisitions aren’t the same as trades — they happen all the time. Castano has been solid enough in AAA, and he should be available if the Marlins aren’t tired of the Braves running their pockets in trade talks.

Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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