During the current run that the Atlanta Braves have been on since 2018, a lot has gone right. They have won six straight division titles, have made multiple deep playoff runs including winning the World Series in 2021, and the team appears to be set up for success for the long haul. However, one recent obstacle that they have struggled to overcome is how they match up with the Philadelphia Phillies.
As things stand right now, the Phillies probably aren't going to threaten the Braves' NL East dominance as the sheer depth of the Braves' roster is likely to carry them further over the course of a long regular season. However, there is no denying that with Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola at the top of their rotation and with guys like Trea Turner and Bryce Harper in their lineup, they are a brutal matchup in a postseason series for any team. Unfortunately, the Braves have found that out the last couple of years despite their in-division supremacy.
Unfortunately, there is a very real chance that that particular situation could get even worse for the Braves as the Phillies have reportedly made an aggressive offer for the best starting pitcher on the market, Yoshinobu Yamamoto.
Phillies offer to Yamamoto could be a disaster for the Braves
It isn't that surprising that the Phillies are in on Yamamoto. Dave Dombrowski has always been a guy that goes after the biggest names on the market and the Phillies, despite their flaws, are coming off back to back deep postseason runs and have already invested quite a bit in their current competitive window. While they probably need a bat more than a rotation arm, a talent like Yamamoto's is hard to pass up.
The good news is that the Phillies signing Yamamoto doesn't appear to be very likely. The reports from Matt Gelb at The Athletic and from Alex Coffey at the Philadelphia Inquirer both indicate that Philly's offer is not likely to be the largest offer that Yamamoto gets and teams like the Mets (gross), Yankees, Dodgers (double gross), and Giants are all more likely destinations for him.
That said, if the Phillies were able to pull off signing Yamamoto, it would be disastrous for the Braves. Not only would it make the Phillies even tougher to get by in the playoffs with Wheeler/Yamamoto/Nola in their rotation, but there is a very good chance that adding him would give Philadelphia a real chance to make a run at winning the National League East.
In an ideal world, the Braves would be the team to make a run at Yamamoto as they certainly could use the help in their rotation. Unfortunately, that is a very remote possibility given Alex Anthopoulos' reticence to hand out big money free agent deals to pitchers as well as the Braves' short-term luxury tax situation. For now, Braves fans just have to hope that the Yankees, Red Sox, or Giants sign him so that he isn't in the division and doesn't join one of the super teams that could threaten Atlanta's chances in the playoffs too much.