Dream Atlanta Braves rotation for the 2024 season

Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Spencer Strider (99)
Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Spencer Strider (99) / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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Sonny Gray

The first outsider in the Braves dream lineup is Sonny Gray, who made a fantastic case for himself as a top member of this year's free agent class throughout the 2023 season. In his first All-Star season, he pitched 184 innings for the Minnesota Twins, struck out 183 and only gave up 57 earned runs for a final ERA of 2.79, the best of Twins' starters by far. His postseason was little rockier, especially compared to Pablo Lopez's near-perfect showings, but Gray did well enough overall that the Athletic projects he'll make $64 million in a three year deal in his free agency.

Gray's arrival in Atlanta would relegate Bryce Elder to a bullpen position or being a trade piece; Elder did good work for the Braves this year but had a crummy postseason (to say the least), and Gray just has the edge in almost every category. If the Athletic's projection is anywhere near true, the Braves would also be able to get him relatively cheaply, because anything looks cheap in the shadow of Austin Riley's 10 year, $212 million contract, which still has nine years to go.

Jordan Montgomery

After his performances this postseason and one of the only lefty starters available in free agency this year, Jordan Montgomery has made himself something of a white whale this offseason. He would join lefty Max Fried to make the Braves' starting rotation formidably more balanced in that regard, and he would bring proven postseason excellence to a Braves pitching staff that's gotten beat up in the playoffs over the past few years.

His performance in the postseason will be the thing that carries him to one of the larger contracts of the offseason, but it's well-deserved. He pitched 31 innings, the second most of the Rangers' rotation and kept his ERA down to 2.90. He struck out far fewer batters than ace Nathan Eovaldi, but the fact that Montgomery pitches to weak contact could be a great thing to add to Atlanta's strike-throwing rotation and take him deep into games often.

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