MLB insider on a potential Braves, Kevin Gausman reunion

MLB: SEP 20 Blue Jays at Yankees

The Braves must add at the trade deadline, and the offense will be the focal point. Look for them to make a move for multiple guys that can potentially jumpstart a lineup that has been dormant for going on three months.

Whether they add pitching is secondary, but it remains a possibility. There’s never been such a thing as too much pitching. Atlanta’s arms have carried the team to this point, but they are an injury away in the rotation from having some serious problems. Acquiring a veteran that could potentially start a postseason game as insurance might be wise.

Starting pitching is always expensive at the trade deadline, but one intriguing name to keep an eye on is actually an old friend, Kevin Gausman. In his latest piece for The Athletic, Jim Bowden was asked about a potential reunion in Atlanta.

14. Would the Braves try to trade for Kevin Gausman again?

Gausman has yielded 19 runs over his last 21 1/3 innings and is sitting at -0.7 WAR on the season, according to Baseball Reference. If I’m the Braves, with the way he’s pitching right now, I wouldn’t want to absorb his salary nor give up the prospect package it would take to land him. (Gausman, 33, is making $22 million this year and is owed $23 million in both 2025 and ’26.) Because of his strong career track record, I would monitor Gausman’s starts between now and July 30 to see if he improves and it’s worth reconsidering a potential trade. However, I would have more interest in his teammates José Berríos, Chris Bassit or Yusei Kikuchi if the Blue Jays make any of them available.

The Blue Jays are 39-48 and have completely fallen out of the race in the AL East, currently 16.5 games back of the Baltimore Orioles. But more than just their struggles this season, this is a core group of players that has run its course. It’s time for the Blue Jays to hit the rest button and rebuild, which means all of their players could be on the table.

Six years ago, the Braves acquired Kevin Gausman from the Baltimore Orioles at the trade deadline. He was very solid in the second half of 2018 but completely lost himself in 2019 and was eventually designated for assignment.

A couple of years later, Gausman re-invented himself with the Giants, leading to three straight top 10 finishes in the Cy Young race from 2021-2023. He was one of the best pitchers in baseball entering this season, but 2024 has been a rollercoaster. Through 17 starts, he’s 6-7 with a 4.75 ERA and has watched his strikeout rate plummet. His peripherals also don’t suggest much positive regression is on the horizon.

For those reasons, along with his contract, I don’t see him as a fit with the Braves unless the Blue Jays are willing to eat a large chunk of the money. Kevin Gausman is being paid $24 million this year and is owed $23 million in 2025 and 2026. That’s a ton of money for a seemingly declining pitcher in his mid-30s.

I’m with Jim Bowden here. The Braves might be calling the Blue Jays about several of their pitchers, but Kevin Gausman feels highly unlikely.

Photo: Andrew Mordzynski/Icon Sportswire


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