Braves' biggest rival positioning themselves for late offseason push for Blake Snell

Atlanta is crossing their fingers and toes that this NL East team doesn't end up landing Snell.

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For the Atlanta Braves, one of their top priorities heading into the 2024 season is to try and figure out how to beat the Phillies consistently. On paper, the Braves are a strictly better team, but the specific matchup between the two teams has been problematic for Atlanta the last two seasons especially in the postseason.

The Braves certainly made some strides this offseason. They added Chris Sale to hopefully add more depth to their postseason rotation and add even more experience to the pitching staff. Trading for Jarred Kelenic brings another very high upside bat to the lineup that the Phillies aren't quite as familiar with and once again, the Braves' bullpen is absolutely loaded headed into 2024.

Over on the Phillies' side, they have been uncharacteristically quiet this offseason. They were able to re-sign Aaron Nola after the Braves made a strong push for him, but they had done little else beyond that. That could be changing, though, especially if their interest in Blake Snell actually leads somewhere.

Phillies' pursuit of Blake Snell could be disastrous for the Braves in 2024

According to a report from Bob Nightengale, the Phillies have expressed an interest in signing Snell, but only on a short-term deal. Earlier in the offseason, such a rumor would be akin to someone being interested in being a millionaire and retiring to the Caribbean with only $12 to their name, but recent developments on the free agent market make such a signing much more realistic.

Scott Boras bet this offseason that he was going to be able to wait out teams and get the big-time free agent deals we have become accustomed to seeing him get. However, those markets have basically never materialized and both Cody Bellinger and Matt Chapman ended up having to sign short-term deals with multiple opt-outs. Given that Boras was the agent for both of those guys as well, it is fair to wonder if he is trying to work a similar deal for Snell.

Adding Snell to the Phillies' already formidable rotation would obviously be very bad news for the Braves, but there is some cause from optimism. Sure, the Phillies would be willing to sign Snell to a short-term deal, but so will half of the teams in the league. Assuming Snell is even amenable to such a deal, enticing more teams to get involved in the bidding doesn't help Philadelphia's chances and teams like the Angels and Giants were already heavily in on Snell.

How this all shakes out will be determined simply by how the Phillies' Dave Dombrowski chooses to be. As painful as it is to say, the Phillies are a legitimate threat in the National League and adding the reigning NL Cy Young winner would only make them better. However, Snell has his warts and wouldn't be cheap even on a short-term deal, so the Phillies will just have to decide if he is worth the risk. for the Braves' sake, one hopes Snell ends up signing far away or elsewhere we could potentially be in store for another dogfight in the NL side of the playoff bracket.

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