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Braves interested in Adam Wainwright, per report

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Wainwright would fill the role the Braves signed Cole Hamels to serve a year ago before injuries struck.

MLB: Wild Card-St. Louis Cardinals at San Diego Padres Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

The Braves are showing interest in veteran right handed pitcher Adam Wainwright, according to The Athletic (subscription required).

Wainwright, 39, has spent the last 15+ years with the Cardinals organization. As you might’ve heard a few times, the Braves infamously traded Wainwright to the Cardinals in exchange for one (very, very good) season of J.D. Drew. Wainwright, of course, went on to become one of the best starters in the National League, winning 167 games and two World Series titles since 2005. He is now looking to continue his career, whether in St. Louis, Atlanta or elsewhere.

Wainwright pitched fairly well in the shortened 2020 season with a 3.15 ERA, 4.11 FIP and 4.23 xFIP across 10 starts and 65 innings. He was a fine mid-rotation option for St. Louis in 2019 — in which he started Game 3 of the NLDS against the Braves — posting a 4.19 ERA and 4.36 FIP over 31 starts. He has essentially been the same pitcher for half a decade; his FIPs between 2017-2020 are all between 4.11 and 4.36 while his strikeout and walk numbers have remained relatively the same. There is always the risk that Father Time catches up to veterans, and Wainwright will turn 40 next summer with a ton of mileage on his arm.

The Braves’ interest in Wainwright is not a surprise seeing as they pegged Cole Hamels a year ago to serve as a veteran in a talented but young rotation. The idea of adding Wainwright (or a similar-type talent; looking at you, Charlie Morton and/or Corey Kluber) to serve as the club’s No. 4 starter behind Mike Soroka, Max Fried and emerging rookie Ian Anderson is one that would make a lot of sense, especially with the volatility shown by Kyle Wright, Bryse Wilson and other young arms this past summer.

This is the first real rumor of the offseason for the Braves, but it certainly won’t be the last. Stay tuned to Talking Chop for the latest.