Braves: 3 free agents to sign and 1 to avoid this MLB offseason

New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom. (Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom. (Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Atlanta Braves
Jacob deGrom. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /

4. Jacob deGrom brings too many red flags for the Braves to break the bank

Since this past summer, there have been murmurs about Atlanta pulling off a potential in-division coup and taking Jacob deGrom in free agency from the Mets. There’s no doubt that the fans would love to see the collective face of New York if the right-handed ace began playing his home games at Truist Park and, to be sure, deGrom has been a stud when on the mound.

Going back to the 2018 season and over his last 102 starts, deGrom has a ridiculous 2.05 ERA, 0.868 WHIP, 193 ERA+ and 12.2 strikeouts per nine innings rate. When he’s been able to deal, he’s truly been dealing. But therein lies the start of the problem for the Braves going after the biggest fish in the free-agent pitchers pool.

Next season, deGrom will turn 35 years old. Now we’ve seen pitchers perform at elite levels despite their age in recent years with guys like Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer, but the signs and situation around deGrom are worrisome. Injuries have started to pile up for him as of late as he’s made just 26 starts over the past two seasons.

If that highly valid injury concern were baked into the cost of deGrom, then it would be feasible. But all signs point to the ace signing a record-setting contract this offseason, wherever that may be. When you then look at the Braves, a team that notoriously doesn’t spend to that degree, and factor in the injury risk with deGrom, this appears to be a move that would be better off not being made by Atlanta.

Next. 5 best MLB free agency destinations for Jacob deGrom. dark