The Braves began the offseason with a very aggressive approach, setting the market for relievers early while addressing various other needs along the way. I’m doing so, Atlanta landed Cole Hamels to fortify a rotation that while talented, is still very young. Even with Hamels in the fold, would the Braves add another starter this offseason?
Though Atlanta is teeming with young arms, multiple reports indicated that the Braves were involved the Hyun-Jin Ryu sweepstakes prior to his agreement with Toronto. Their presence in that market would seem to suggest that the Braves are not entirely sold on their youth movement in the rotation. With Soroka, Hamels, Fried, Foltynewicz, and Newcomb, the club has a wide range of outcomes, and especially so if one of those five are out for an extended period. In the event of an injury to one of their starting five, the expectation would be that Kyle Wright or Ian Anderson would be thrust into the rotation.
With options being removed from the free agent market almost daily, Atlanta may be waiting for a cheaper option toward the end of the offseason, but showing interest in Ryu would seem to indicate that the Braves would add a starter under the right circumstances. As with the Anibal Sanchez signing two years ago, Atlanta could wait until Spring Training to add contingency plans, and given the current construction of their roster, they may be better-served to do so.
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