For the Atlanta Braves, it certainly hasn't been an ideal offseason considering that their chief competition in the National League, the Dodgers, have gone wild. Not only did LA add Shohei Ohtani and Tyler Glasnow earlier this offseason, but they also signed the best starter on the market last when Yoshinobu Yamamoto signed a 12 year deal with LA.
We will just have to wait and see if the Dodgers' massive financial commitment works out, but it is really unfortunate that the Braves were not bigger players for Yamamoto. With Max Fried set to hit free agency after 2024 and the Braves' rotation being a big question mark after next season, it sure feels like a 25 year old with multiple plus pitches would have been a really nice to have around.
However, Braves fans can find solace in the fact that two of their biggest rivals in the NL East, the Mets and Phillies, missed out on landing Yamamoto as well despite actively pursuing him.
The Mets and Phillies missing out on Yamamoto is a nice consolation prize
The competition for Yamamoto's services was fierce to be sure. In addition to the Dodgers, the Giants, Red Sox, Yankees, Phillies, and Mets were all pushing very hard to sign him. While the Giants' struggles to land any star whatsoever is fun to talk about as is the Yankees failing to get what they want, the focus here is on the Phillies and Mets as Atlanta has to feel good that the rest of the National League East didn't get a boost last night.
The Phillies were always a bit of a longshot to land Yamamoto. They certainly could have used him in their rotation because, well, every team could and Philly did make a strong offer for him, but the sentiment throughout this process was that Yamamoto wanted to play in a big market with LA and New York being favorites since he got posted. That said, Braves fans can breathe a sigh of relief that the Phillies' rotation has given them fits in the postseason the last couple of years didn't get even stronger.
As for the Mets, Atlanta fans love drinking Mets fans' tear more than any others. Steve Cohen tried his absolute best to throw enough money at Yamamoto to get him to ignore the fact that the Mets probably aren't going to be good next season and there are no guarantees they will be good beyond that other than the fact that Cohen is willing to spend the gross national product of a small country. The Mets offered $325 million to Yamamoto, the Dodgers matched that offer, and that was that. Absolutely delicious.
With Yamamoto finally off the market, the rest of the offseason can finally get started. It is unclear how active the Braves will be the rest of the way, but they can at least feel good that the rest of the division is in the same position that they were in 24 hours ago with one less strong free agent to choose from.