The Braves have been in the market for a starting pitcher, even if an acquisition hasn’t come to fruition.
They were in on Aaron Nola before he re-signed with the Phillies, and they’ve been connected to Dylan Cease, who will likely be traded after the top free agents sign their respective deals.
Moreover, Alex Anthopoulos may have just hinted in an interview with Jeff Schultz of The Athletic that he had an opportunity to acquire former Rays starter Tyler Glasnow but decided against it.
When asked how hard he’s pursued a starter and what’s the consideration in trading a core player to land one in a trade, the Braves GM confirmed the club pursued Nola but added that the starters that have been moved didn’t require any core player.
Instead, it would’ve been a prospect-based deal that Anthopoulos eventually elected against in favor of keeping his young players, referencing the decisions to hold on to Spencer Strider and Michael Harris II.
Some starting pitchers have changed teams this offseason. Dylan Cease hasn’t been traded, yet. How hard have you pursued a starter and what’s the consideration in trading a core player to land one in trade?
We pursued Aaron Nola (who re-signed with the Phillies). Beyond that, we’ve engaged clubs and inquired on trades. The starters who have been moved, and one specifically, we didn’t need to trade core players off our roster. It would’ve been a prospect-based deal and we had the prospects to do it and we elected not to. Obviously, we’ll find out three, four, five years from now if that was the right call. It’s similar to when guys like Spencer Strider and Michael Harris were prospects and we elected to hold those guys as well, and we’re glad that we did. It’s tough to judge because you’re trying to project out what guys will be. So far, I’ve elected to say no.
Now, this is pure speculation because there have been multiple starters traded this offseason, but they’ve been mostly minor deals that would’ve required low-level prospects to get done. I think he’s referencing the Dodgers deal to acquire Tyler Glasnow.
The Rays received right-hander Ryan Pepiot and outfielder Jonny Deluca in exchange for Glasnow and Manuel Margot. Los Angeles then quickly extended Glasnow, which was a contingency in the deal.
Is it possible that the Rays wanted one of the Braves’ top prospects in exchange for Glasnow? Someone like Hurston Waldrep, A.J. Smith-Shawver, Cade Kuehler, Owen Murphy, JR Ritche, or Spencer Schwellenbach? I’m not quite sure, but Anthopoulos did go on later in the interview to praise Smith-Shawver and Waldrep.
When asked about the extent of his concerns with the future of the rotation, Anthopoulos said, “AJ Smith-Shawver has a tremendous ceiling and he just turned 21, and we’re excited about the kid we drafted last year, Hurston Waldrep.”
Obviously, this is pure speculation, but it is notable that Anthopoulos referenced “one specifically” that only required prospects that he declined to do, then went on later to praise the young arms on the farm.
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