Jim Bowden predicts Braves land Jacob deGrom and Kenley Jansen

Braves degrom

MLB free agency just began last Thursday, so we haven’t had any blockbuster signings, but that didn’t stop Jim Bowden of The Athletic from throwing out what he described as ‘silly’ predictions. Bowden had 25 of them and several involved the Braves — two of which had Atlanta targeting some veteran pitchers, signing both Jacob deGrom and Kenley Jansen on lucrative deals.

Bowden predicted the club to ink deGrom to a two-year $90 million deal that includes an opt-out after the first year and Jansen to a shocking two-year, $34 million contract. We’ve covered these two situations many times at SportsTalkATL, but I’ll run through all of the parameters of both deals.

According to Andy Martino of SNY, the Mets view the Braves and Rangers as the biggest threats to pry deGrom away from New York, but I have my reservations about him landing in Atlanta. First and foremost, when the Braves handed Charlie Morton a contract extension a couple of months ago, that should’ve been the writing on the wall for Braves fans hopeful of landing deGrom.

With the veteran Morton back in the fold, the Braves have four proven starters and a slew of options to take the fifth and final spot in the rotation — Kyle Muller, Ian Anderson, Mike Soroka, Bryce Elder, etc. As things stand now, Atlanta already has around $160 million committed to 2023, but the figure will rise to about $180 million after arbitration deals are worked out. With a massive hole at shortstop, signing deGrom and one of the big four shortstop free agents would likely put the club over the luxury tax threshold.

It’s very unlikely the Braves land deGrom. It’s much more likely the club and Jansen will work out a new deal but not for $17 million per season for two years. He led the NL with 41 saves while pitching to the tune of a 3.38 ERA and 3.21 FIP. Despite some struggles, the veteran was as solid as ever, with a 32.7% strikeout rate, the highest since 2017. He’s still got the stuff that made him one of the best closers in baseball for the Dodgers, and I’d love to have him back in Atlanta.

On a one-year deal worth somewhere between $10-14 million, Alex Anthopoulos would love to have him back, in my eyes. It just all depends on the price tag. With Raisel Iglesias and AJ Minter under team control, adding Jasen would give the Braves bullpen a terrifying three-headed monster to turn to in the final three innings of games.

Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire

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