All things considered, the Atlanta Braves have done pretty well for themselves this offseason so far. They overhauled their bullpen to include some more power arms, signed Reynaldo Lopez, and made one of the more interesting trades of the offseason when the Braves acquired Jarred Kelenic to play left field.
That said, the job is far from done. Atlanta still seems to be on the lookout for another starting pitcher and who knows what AA has up his sleeve for the rest of the offseason. All of these open spots on the 40 man roster are going to get occupied sooner or later and it seems likely that it will include some new faces before the dust settles.
While the Braves have done well thus far, there have been some moments that have at least made Braves fans wince. No team can have everything they want, but some of the opportunities that were out there this offseason felt like strong chances for the Braves to solidify their position as one of the best teams in the league for the foreseeable future. Here's a look at some decisions this offseason that the Braves could grow to regret.
It's a mistake for the Braves to not push to sign Yoshinobu Yamamoto
At the top of the list is the Yoshinobu Yamamoto free agency derby. Yamamoto is the rare starter that is hitting free agency at a young age (he is just 25), who possesses multiple plus pitches, and who has the ability to become a top of the rotation force. While there are a number of teams that are in on him, the Braves do not appear to be one of them.
Here is a Braves team that has a clear need (both in 2024 and beyond) to add a top flight starting pitcher and they don't appear to be involved at all with the best arm on the market. Sure, Yamamoto is going to cost $300+ million to sign, but the Braves need a quality arm going into 2024 and Max Fried is likely to walk after next season. With no one beyond Spencer Strider under contract, what is the Braves' plan with their rotation? Right now, it is a lot of crossing fingers and hoping.
To be fair, we don't know for certain that the Braves aren't involved as Alex Anthopoulos plays things pretty close to the vest. There is also a real possibility that Yamamoto already has such strong preferences for the markets he is willing to play in that the Braves signing him was never really an option. However, with this starting pitching market being significantly better than next offseason's and with the ceiling that Yamamoto has, Atlanta pushing hard for Yoshinobu would have been a very worthy cause.