Coming off a third straight NL East title, the Atlanta Braves may be looking to add a veteran arm to the rotation this offseason. Ken Rosenthal and David O’Brien of The Athletic report that the Braves have reached out to free agent right-hander Adam Wainwright about the possibility of joining the team this winter.
Wainwright, 39, is coming off a strong season for the Cardinals:
Although Wainwright was originally a Braves draftee, they traded the Georgia native to the Cardinals in December of 2003 in a deal that sent J.D. Drew to Atlanta. He’s spent his entire 15-year major league career with St. Louis. Over that span, he’s won 167 games; topped 2,000 career innings; and put up an ERA+ of 119 and a WAR of 36.9. Wainwright is also a three-time All-Star, and on four occasions he’s finished in the top three of the NL Cy Young balloting. Given his advanced baseball age, Wainwright is of course susceptible to sudden decline. However, his command of a full repertoire and reliance on the curveball has allowed him to withstand velocity loss over the years.
As for the Braves, they figure to have a strong rotation core, especially given the likely return of Mike Soroka from an Achilles’ injury. Wainwright would give Atlanta a steady veteran presence at the back end behind Soroka, Max Fried, and Ian Anderson.
Returning home to Georgia for perhaps the final season of his career likely has some appeal for Wainwright, but the Braves will surely have some competition for his services — possibly including the incumbent Cardinals