May 20, 2024

Atlanta should prioritize acquiring a mid-rotation starter in free agency, they believe, and they provided five suitable options, states by MLB.COM

When asked what Atlanta needed to do most in free agency to improve their chances in the next postseason, responded amusingly. The Atlanta Braves were eliminated from the postseason for the second straight season by the Philadelphia Phillies in the NLDS.

Considering how the Braves’ previous two seasons concluded—with an NLDS defeat to the Phillies—possibly the most significant thing Atlanta can accompli


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They continued by saying that pitching is the key and that, although Atlanta’s offense was present throughout the season before becoming silent for a brief series, a mid-rotation starter would have given the team a stronger opportunity versus Philly had the offense not gone oddly silent.

Jokes aside, they made a valid point when they said that Atlanta is unlikely to enter the nine-figure free agent pitching market because the biggest contract ever awarded to a pitcher in Atlanta’s history was a four-year, $60 million agreement signed by Derek Lowe in 2009.

Consequently, they indicated the following players might be strong fits for Atlanta in the free agent market, knowing they won’t be in the running for Aaron Nola or the other Tier 1 names in our rankings.

this offseason is make a sacrifice to the baseball gods in order to avoid seeing Philadelphia for a third consecutive postseason.

We’ve written about this game previously, and for good reason—he’s a talented pitcher with a 2.79 ERA in 2023 and he hails from the South—having played college ball at Vanderbilt after growing up in Tennessee—and players from the South usually do well “coming home” to Atlanta.

A significant complicating element, though, is that he may be eligible for a qualifying offer, which would cost Atlanta two draft picks if they choose to sign him and probably put an end to their pursuit of the right-hander.

Lugo, who is 33 years old, turned down his $7.5 million, one-year player option to become a free agent. After pitching for the Mets for five years as a long man, Lugo converted to starting in 2023. In his career-high 146.1 innings, he finished 8-7 with a 3.57 ERA. Lugo will surely be seeking multiple years as well as a starting role.

After an injury-shortened season in which he made just 11 starts and finished 3-3 with a 3.46 ERA, the 36-year-old now enters free agency. Although he hasn’t been able to duplicate his incredible 2019 season—in which he went 14-5 with a 2.32 ERA and finished second in the Dodgers’ Cy Young voting—he has demonstrated that he still has what it takes to spin the ball with the best of them when healthy.

The phrase “when healthy” comes with a significant disclaimer, though, as Ryu has only made 17 starts in the previous two seasons because of knee and elbow problems in 2023 and Tommy John surgery in 2022.

The 35-year-old Maeda was another “high risk, high reward” deal that was plagued by injury worries. After undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2022, he missed numerous stints in 2023 due to triceps, ankle, and arm problems.

Aside from his IL stints, he made 21 appearances with Minnesota, going 6-8 with a 4.23 ERA, striking out 117 in 104.1 innings while only walking 28.

Soon-to-be 37-year-old Miley, another veteran free agent in the style of Atlanta’s acquisition of Charlie Morton, pitched for Milwaukee on a one-year, $3.5 million contract, going 9-4 with a 3.14 ERA. It is anticipated that he will pick up his $1 million buyout and become a free agent for the seventh time in his career by declining his share of a $10 million mutual option.

The fact that his ERA and FIP differential was among the worst in MLB this season (3.14 ERA, 4.69 FIP) and that he only struck out 5.9 hitters per nine innings, the second-lowest total of his career, are factors that work against him in addition to his age and history of injuries.

It was an odd season for Lorenzen. In comparison, he pitched well for Detroit, recording a 3.58 ERA in eighteen starts. He was traded to Philadelphia at the deadline, where he made his debut pitching eight innings with just two runs allowed and then went on to record a perfect game in the next game. However, it appeared that the no-hitter had worn him down since he gave up 27 runs in his following six innings before being shifted to the bullpen and seeing very little action in the Phillies’ seven-game loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Over the weekend, Clevinger formally rejected his share of a one-year, $12 million mutual option, becoming a free agent at the age of thirty-two. Clevinger hopes to secure a multi-year contract in free agency and his signing team will be hoping he returns to the 25+ start, sub-3.00 ERA he displayed with Cleveland in his late 20s. In 2023, he will pitch over 110 innings for the second straight season with an ERA of 3.77.

On Monday, November 6th, the start of free agency will be official, and we’ll have all the details here on Braves Today.

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