3. Kenta Maeda
Kenta Maeda is entering his age-36 season and is coming off of a couple of years of injuries. He missed all of 2022 after having Tommy John surgery and only pitched 104.1 innings in 2023. He pitched to 4.23 ERA last season and could provide value if he can hang around a four-ERA. The seven-year veteran has a 3.92 career ERA and struck out 10.1 batters per nine innings last season.
2. Frankie Montas
Frankie Montas has only pitched 1.1 innings last season. He is just 30 years old. He finished sixth in Cy Young voting in 2021. Following his phenomenal 2021 he was traded to the Yankees in 2022. At the time of the trade, he had a 3.18 ERA. He had a rough go with the Yankees, as it turns out because he was dealing with a shoulder injury. That injury would shelve him for most of 2023 as well.
If Montas is healthy heading into 2024, which appears to be the case) he could be a huge bounce-back candidate. A healthy Montas would offer much more than just quality pitching depth. He gives the Braves a potential frontline starter to add to the mix.
1. Julio Teheran
This isn't just a nostalgia act. Julio Teheran's last full season came with the Atlanta Braves in 2019. He posted a 3.81 ERA. If you recall, Teheran was the Braves' Opening Day starter in six consecutive years. In 2020, the Angels gave up on him after just 31.1 innings. Detroit gave him just one start the next season. In that one start, he allowed one run over five innings. He didn't see the big leagues again until last year with Milwaukee.
In 2023, He walked just 1.6 hitters per nine while posting a 4.40 ERA over 71.2 innings. Teheran posted a 1.53 ERA over his first six starts last season. He had pretty good numbers until he ran into his former team on July 29th. The Braves rocked Julio for nine earned runs over five innings pitched. In just 11 starts, a nine-run outing can make a huge difference on the ERA.
Julio can provide depth and potentially some quality innings at a low price. Yes, it will also be a bit of a nostalgia act. He made just $1.5 million last season.