Braves Rumors: NL East rival free agency buzz is nightmare fuel for Atlanta

The start of 2024 season could take an unfortunate turn for the Braves if the latest Phillies rumors are correct.

Philadelphia Phillies Introduce Trea Turner
Philadelphia Phillies Introduce Trea Turner / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages
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Overall, the Atlanta Braves offseason went very well. They addressed their need for a starting pitcher when they traded for Chris Sale, filled the void in left with the Jarred Kelenic deal, and beefed up the bullpen with several moves. One could argue that, on paper, this Braves team is even better than the ones that have won north of 100 games the last two seasons.

One thing that has helped the cause is that the rest of the National League East has been relatively quiet. The Marlins are content to let the world pass them by with the hope that they can win games without spending at all. The Nationals are rebuilding and probably going to get sold before too long. The Mets are having to regroup after they found out that they are unable to spend $300+ million on a roster that can make the playoffs. However, the sleeping giant that we may yet hear from is the Phillies.

As painful as it is to say, the Phillies are a legitimately dangerous team. The Braves' struggles against them in the playoffs aside, they have stars on both sides of the ball on their roster and a front office exec in Dave Dombrowski that is unafraid of making big moves. So far, the only real move they have made is to re-sign Aaron Nola. However, there's a lot of buzz right now around the Phillies who could make a late splash before the start of the 2024 season.

A Phillies late blockbuster could spell pain for the Braves

In Bob Nightengale's report for USA Today, he noted that multiple executives from around the league think that the Phillies could end up with one of Cody Bellinger or Jordan Montgomery before the start of the season. The Phillies could use another quality outfielder which makes Bellinger a fit despite his iffy peripherals. While the top of the Phillies' rotation is stacked, no team doesn't need starting pitching depth and Montgomery would make them extremely formidable. Nightengale isn't the only one who floated this possibly as MLB insider Jon Heyman mentioned Philadelphia as well.

None of this is good news for the Braves. The Phillies were already going to be troublesome in the National League East and especially in the playoffs. Adding Cody Bellinger or Jordan Montgomery would not only make Atlanta's path in the playoffs even trickier, but could make the race in the National League East a little too close for comfort.

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