The Braves lost out on Aaron Nola earlier today, as he inked a seven-year deal with the Phillies worth $172 million. However, Jeff Passan did confirm that the Braves “were a real threat” for Nola’s services, continuing the narrative that they are in the market for the top free agent starting pitchers.
The Atlanta Braves were a real threat to poach Aaron Nola. But as negotiations with Nola and his agents, Joe Longo and Garrett Parcell, went on, the Phillies stepped up and gave out their biggest contract for a pitcher and 11th biggest ever. @BNightengale was on top of things.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 19, 2023
Now, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi is adding to the rumor. The Braves were in on Nola, and they are reportedly pivoting to Sonny Gray.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 19, 2023
Gray is coming off the best season of his career, finishing second in the AL Cy Young race. He led all of Major League Baseball with a 2.83 FIP and recorded a 2.79 ERA. At 34-years-old, he won’t require a seven-year contract like Nola received from the Phillies. A 3-4 year deal is more likely for Gray, which should be much more palatable for the Braves, who have always been hesitant to hand out long-term contracts to free agents.
Alex Anthopoulos has yet to make a huge splash in free agency since becoming general manager in Atlanta, but based on numerous reports, that is likely to change this offseason.
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