Braves News: Atlanta Braves rivals improve with signings of Justin Verlander and Trea Turner
The Atlanta Braves entered the offseason in a strong position heading into 2023. Sure, they don’t have a shortstop signed yet, but the rest of the roster looks very deep, very young, very strong, and should be that way for at least several more seasons. You would not struggle to find multiple viable candidates for NL MVP or NL Cy Young and the bullpen should be among the best in the league as well.
However, so far at the Winter Meetings, it has been the Braves’ chief rivals in the National League East that have been busy: the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies. We’ll start with the Mets as they had (and still have) the most work to do. New York had a bunch of players from last year’s 101 win club hit free agency and Jacob deGrom has already signed elsewhere for an obscene amount of money. The Mets knew they had to reinforce their rotation and they decided to add last year’s AL Cy Young to pair with Max Scherzer.
The Mets have a lot of money tied up in Scherzer and now Justin Verlander for 2023. They are also older pitchers so Father Time could give them some problems next season, but based solely on talent…well, its hard to beat Scherzer and Verlander in your rotation.
That brings us to the Phillies. The Phillies were widely considered to be very motivated by their World Series appearance and their roster has some good things going on. However, they really needed a shortstop of note who could actually play defense and Bryce Harper just underwent Tommy John surgery which will keep him out of the lineup for a while.
Well, the Phillies solved their shortstop problem.
Trea Turner has been terrorizing the Braves since his Nationals days, so it is less than exciting to see him back in the National League East again (he would have looked nice in a Braves uniform, though) especially on a team that is coming off a World Series appearance. That said, $300 million over 11 YEARS is pretty wild to give any player, let alone one whose speed is both a big part of what makes him so dangerous AND the tool that is the most likely to degrade over time.
The Braves just got a lot better with the signings of Justin Verlander and Trea Turner
All of that said, both of the Braves’ chief rivals in the National League East just got significantly better (on paper) and it will be interesting to see how Atlanta responds. While we still think the Braves should be favored to win the division, the Mets and Phillies are clearly not going to go quietly.