Braves Rumors: Atlanta seen as a serious threat to steal a top arm from NL East rival

Are the Braves set to make a splash in free agency that would shock their biggest rival?

Chicago White Sox v Atlanta Braves
Chicago White Sox v Atlanta Braves / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages

The Atlanta Braves have goals in mind this offseason, but a recent MLB reporter suggested a move that could improve Atlanta's roster, as well as deal a major blow to their biggest rival. I'm talking of course of the Philadelphia Phillies, who have sent Atlanta home the last two postseasons.

The Phillies biggest free agent, right-handed pitcher Aaron Nola, is rumored to have seen the Braves emerge as possible suitor. Obviously rumor season is in full swing right now, so we can't take every one as something gaining moment, but this is an intriguing move for a number of reasons.

Nola interest shows Braves may not settle for middle of the road starter

The Braves even being considered in play for Nola's services, despite his sure to be incoming high contract shows Atlanta is looking for difference making pitchers. Nola is more than proven enough to get a playoff start and not have to be on the edge of your seat with every pitch. Even if they don't win the Nola bidding, the interest shown could mean they find themselves in the Yamamota, Montgomery, or Gray sweepstakes.

Nola joining the Braves isn't entirely far fetched if the Braves choose to spend big on him, and save money elsewhere by throwing Vaughn Grissom in left field. Reports have already come out that Vaughn earlier today from Braves beat reporter, David O'Brien of the Athletic, that this could indeed be the plan.

Perhaps Nola's previous relationship with Braves pitching coach Rick Kranitz, a nice payday, and the looks of a winning team for years to come would be enough to entice Nola to come to Atlanta. If that were to happen, Atlanta would be dealing a huge blow to their top competition in the NL East by taking their postseason game two starter.

Elsewhere in Morosi's MLB Network interview, you will hear him mention the Braves could look to Sonny Gray's services in their pursuit of pitching. Gray is an AL Cy Young finalist and coming off a season where his ERA was 2.79 and had the lowest FIP (2.83) and HR/9 (0.4) in the majors.

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