Braves Rumors: Atlanta targeting injury-prone ace on the trade market

The Braves are leaning really hard into the trade market to address their starting pitching needs

Sep 11, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow (20)
Sep 11, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow (20) / Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

While the Atlanta Braves have gone heavy on beefing up their bullpen this offseason in addition to adding Jarred Kelenic to play left field, the biggest question for the Braves is how are they going to address their starting pitching staff. Atlanta has culled a chunk of their pitching depth this offseason and has been rumored to be looking at a number of guys this offseason including Dylan Cease, Sonny Gray, Aaron Nola, and Seth Lugo.

However, one name that hadn't been connected to the Braves is Rays ace Tyler Glasnow. Glasnow has been one of the more openly available trade targets this offseason mainly due to the fact that he is set to make $25 million in 2024 and Tampa simply can't afford to have him on their payroll. So far, the Rays haven't moved him and it looks like the Braves are at least looking closely to see if they could make a trade work to snag him.

Braves have shown some level of interest in trading for Tyler Glasnow

The fit for the Braves is a bit weird when it comes to Tyler Glasnow. When Tyler is on the mound, he is absolutely filthy and fits the mold as a frontline starter. In 21 starts last season, he struck out 162 batters in 120 innings while posting a 3.53 ERA and 2.91 FIP. Other than his propensity to give up hard contact, the rest of his Statcast page has a whole lot of red (that's good) on it.

The problem with Glasnow is two-fold. First, $25 million is a lot for one year and the Rays may be wanting a significant haul in a trade. Glasnow's upside is tremendous, but handing out top prospects for a rental pitcher with some warts could be a bit dubious. Complicating matters is that the Braves are already in the luxury tax penalty which means adding him is going to have the added cost of those luxury tax penalties.

The other issue is Glasnow's durability. The 120 innings that he threw in 2023 was a career-high for him as he has dealt with back, oblique, and multiple arm injuries in his career including having Tommy John surgery in 2021. The 21 starts he made last season was also a career-high by a wide margin and he still dealt with oblique and back issues that cost him time.

If the Braves are certain that Glasnow is healthy and the Rays are more motivated to shed payroll then to try and maximize their prospect return, then Atlanta should be all over him. However, if the Rays are wanting payroll relief AND a big package for Glasnow, the Braves should proceed with caution when it comes to the very talented but injury prone pitcher.

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