Friday, June 21, 2024
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Braves In Sonny Grey

The Braves have curiosity in Sonny Grey, as MLB Community’s Jon Morosi (X hyperlink) describes Atlanta as “one of many prime suitors” for the right-hander’s providers.  The Twins (Grey’s former staff), Cardinals, and Phillies have all been linked to the free agent at varied factors this winter, although Philadelphia might be off the board after re-signing Aaron Nola earlier as we speak.

Intriguingly, Morosi and ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that Atlanta additionally made a push to signal Nola, indicating that the Braves have their eyes on a giant rotation improve.  Experiences from final week instructed that the Braves have been concentrating on pitching assist, and The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal wrote earlier as we speak that “a minimum of front-line starter” appears to be on Atlanta’s wishlist

As Rosenthal and others have noticed since Friday’s non-tender deadline, the Braves made a flurry of cuts to their arbitration class, as a collection of trades, releases, and non-tenders resulted in 10 open spots on the 40-man roster and virtually  $14MM shaved from the finances.  The Braves have been planning to improve payroll anyway in 2024, but naturally each greenback counts in a state of affairs the place Atlanta may need to outbid different groups for a prime free agent hurler.

MLB Commerce Rumors projected a four-year, $90MM deal for Grey, who ranked ninth on our listing of the offseason’s prime 50 free brokers.  The three-time All-Star has been stable for many of his 11-year profession, however 2023 was arguably Grey’s finest season, as he delivered a 2.79 ERA over 184 innings for the Twins and completed second in AL Cy Younger Award voting.  Whereas Grey’s previous harm historical past is slightly checkered, his efficiency final yr probably helped calm some doubts over whether or not or not Grey can stay a productive and sturdy arm as he enters his age-34 season.

It’s attainable that the Braves view Grey as, on the very least, a successor to Charlie Morton because the rotation’s veteran stalwart.  Morton got here to Atlanta prematurely of his age-37 season and has been very efficient over his three seasons with the staff, to the purpose that the Braves exercised their $20MM membership choice to carry Morton again for 2024.  Morton is now 40 years outdated and sometimes contemplating retirement, whereas Max Fried could be a free agent subsequent winter, so Atlanta may use one other longer-term pitcher to pair alongside Spencer Strider.

Atlanta president of baseball operations Alex Anthopoulos has been fairly measured in his free agent pursuits in his six years operating the entrance workplace.  Marcell Ozuna’s four-year, $65MM deal is well the biggest contract the Braves have given out within the Anthopoulos period, with most of their different signings trending in the direction of one- or two-year offers with skilled veterans (i.e. Kenley Jansen, Josh Donaldson, Morton’s preliminary deal).  As a result of the Braves surpassed the posh tax threshold in 2023, they’d even have to surrender two 2024 draft picks and $1MM in worldwide draft pool cash to signal a qualifying-offer rejecting free agent like Grey.

Nonetheless, it might be that that is merely an additional value that Anthopoulos is keen to pay to bolster the rotation.  Whereas the Braves’ beginning pitching has been greater than stable lately, it has fallen brief within the playoffs the final two years, plus the Braves navigated a number of rotation accidents final yr specifically.  Since there’s no indication that Atlanta’s highly effective lineup goes to decelerate, bettering the pitching workers is perhaps the final step essential in getting the Braves again to the World Sequence.



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