The Braves made two significant additions to their starting rotation in November, as Drew Smyly and Charlie Morton each signed one-year deals with Atlanta. Those two veterans will ideally cover a lot of innings for a young Braves rotation in 2020, but is Atlanta done adding starters this offseason?
In addition to Smyly and Morton, the Braves return Max Fried, Ian Anderson, and hopefully Mike Soroka sometime in April. Bryse Wilson and Kyle Wright could also be rotation options early on, especially with Soroka currently an unknown commodity. Beyond those two internal options the Braves could explore a number of avenues to further fortify an already impressive rotation. We have seen how quickly rotation depth can evaporate, with or without the added challenges of the pandemic. Alex Anthopoulos will almost certainly want to avoid a situation that puts another ‘Erlin-esque’ starter in the rotation for a team with World Series aspirations.
Could the Braves explore the markets for Blake Snell or Yu Darvish? Possibly. Would they part with the capital necessary to acquire them? Nothing in Anthopoulos’ tenure with Atlanta would suggest that he will opt for this route, but either pitcher would give the Braves a violent shove into the upper tier of World Series contenders. However, the Braves have afforded themselves the luxury of waiting for Wilson and Wright to materialize thanks to an impressive collection of arms around them.
My prediction would be that Atlanta opts for non-roster depth signings, much like the Felix Hernandez signing last offseason. Hopefully COVID permits these signings to actually play out the season, but this seems more logical for the Braves than pushing all-in for an ‘ace’.
Are you happy with the current state of the Braves rotation? If not, who are you targeting?
Unsurprisingly, the Pirates take Kumar Rocker first overall in the first 2021 mock draft from MLB Pipeline.
I have no idea what ‘great plans’ would mean but apparently the Cubs, at least publicly, want to keep Kris Bryant.
The Yankees manager is open about his affinity for DJ LeMahieu.
Big takeaway: The Phillies are a mess.