Michael Soroka is thriving following Braves departure

MLB: JUL 02 Marlins at Braves

This offseason was filled with excitement for Braves Country.

The acquisitions of Chris Sale and Jared Kelenic provided hope in different ways. The former offered a potential Cy Young pitcher with some of the best stuff on the planet but hasn’t been able to stay healthy in recent years. The latter presents a former top prospect who is still using with potential but hasn’t put it all together yet.

For a club that’s goal is to win a championship, which has been coined by A.J. Minter as World Series or bust, Braves Country is spoiled with an offseason of hope. It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows, though.

The club also parted ways with several fan favorites. Vaughn Grissom was the price for Sale, and Kyle Wright was included in a deal that brought Aaron Bummer to Jackson Kowar, but none were more painful than the goodbye fans had to say to Michael Soroka, who was included in the trade that netted Aaron Bummer.

The Maple Maddux quickly rose to stardom as a rookie when he threw for nearly 175 innings with a 2.68 ERA across 29 starts en route to an All-Star bid, a sixth-place finish in the Cy Young race, and a second-place finish in the Rookie of the Year race. He immediately became one of Atlanta’s brightest young stars.

Soroka was on his way to becoming the ace of the club’s staff until multiple Achilles injuries took away his 2020, 2021, and 2022 campaigns. It was a terrible hand for a beloved person, not just a player, in Braves Country.

Fans did get to see Soroka return to the majors in 2023, one of the best moments of the season. Though he showed flashes of what made him a young star, there wasn’t enough consistency for him to stick.

This offseason presented a difficult decision for Alex Anthopoulos. Soroka was entering arbitration, set to earn around $3 million and was out of options. So, if AA were to tender him a contract, he’d have to give him a spot on the major league roster.

For a Braves team that had four of the five spots in the rotation solidified, that was never going to happen based on Soroka’s 2023 results. It was a hard pill to swallow but a necessary one. It was a sad ending to his tenure in Atlanta. We shouldn’t feel too bad for him because Soroka has landed on his feet with the White Sox.

He will start the Chicago’s second game of the season against the Tigers, according to Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times

“Entering spring training, it was unclear if Soroka would win a rotation spot. However, with Dylan Cease traded away and Brad Keller set to start the year in the minors, Soroka will pitch toward the top of the rotation to begin the regular season. He’s battled a number of significant injuries across the last several years, though he did manage to log 32.1 innings in the majors in 2023. Still only 26, Soroka has also had an impressive spring, allowing only two earned runs across 13 innings while maintaining a 17:5 K:BB.”

A lot of Braves fans may be playing the “what if?” game with themselves right now, but Anthopoulos did the right thing at the moment. It may come back to bite Atlanta’s GM in the butt, but it was the correct decision at the time. Let’s just all agree to continue to root for the kid.

Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire


Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: