Braves are more likely to trade for a 4th starter instead of signing one.
Spencer Strider, Max Fried, and Charlie Morton round out the top three. Bryce Elder had a solid first half and a terrible second half. The Braves' lack of starting pitching depth left them with Bryce Elder starting a critical Game 3 of the NLDS in which he gave up six earned runs over 2.2 innings.
As you know, you can never have enough starting pitching so ideally, we'll see a few guys that could give Elder some spring competition. The losers will remain in reserves until the inevitable injuries begin to happen. AJ Smith-Shawver is also a candidate for the rotation (as things stand now).
Alex Anthopoulos doesn't overpay on long-term deals. Signing a big-name free agent means overpaying and over-committing. Trading allows AA to shop the thrift stores for low-priced gems, rather than paying full retail price on the open market.
Just to name a few starting pitchers on the trade block this offseason
There are plenty of quality pitchers that would fit very nicely into the Braves rotation that are rumored to be on the block. Guys like former Cy Young winner Corbin Burnes are rumored to be available. Milwaukee is taking offers on most of their roster.
Burnes has a projected salary of just $15.1MM in 2024, which is a steal for a pitcher of his quality. Shane Bieber is on the block. Like Burnes, he is entering the final year of team control and should only run around $12MM in 2024.
Tyler Glasnow has been mentioned in the same breath as the Braves multiple times this offseason. However, Glasnow is in line for $25MM next season and the Rays are going to need him if they want to compete. Dylan Cease finished second in Cy Young voting in 2022 which makes his 4.58 ERA from last season a little easier to swallow.
Cease is projected to earn a little less than $9MM in arbitration in 2024. The White Sox are willing to deal this offseason as they attempt to rebuild. The Braves have already worked with them on the deal that sent them Soroka and four others for Aaron Bummer.
The point of this article is not to run through all of the potential pitchers that will be made available via trade this offseason but to point out that the Braves are more likely to target talent that way than to overpay a big name for too many years. It's not the way Alex Anthopoulos does business.