3 Braves backup plans if Tyler Glasnow trade is off the board

The Atlanta Braves whiffed on Tyler Glasnow. Here's where Alex Anthopoulos can pivot.

Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves
Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages
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1. Braves can throw splashy free agent offer at Jordan Montgomery

The Braves have been fairly quiet on the free agency front outside their early pursuit of Aaron Nola and brief mentions in the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes. That said, it's clear Atlanta is willing to spend a pretty penny for the right pitcher. Nola signed a seven-year, $172 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. That was reportedly a hometown discount, meaning the Braves potentially gave Nola an even better offer.

There are a couple true No. 1 aces left on the market in Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Blake Snell, but the Braves don't appear to be in pursuit of either. Jordan Montgomery profiles better as a potential Braves surprise. He was electric during the Texas Rangers' postseason run, going 3-1 in six playoff appearances (five starts) with a 2.90 ERA and 3.90 FIP.

Montgomery doesn't overwhelm hitters with elite stuff — he averaged 93.3 MPH on his fastball last season — but he's a highly disciplined pitcher who works the plate and pitches to contact effectively. He started the 2023 campaign on uneven ground, going 0-7 out of the gates for the struggling St. Louis Cardinals before finishing strong with Texas after the trade deadline.

In the end, Montgomery proved his ability to overcome adversity and perform on the biggest stage — two important traits the Braves should place in especially high esteem. Montgomery is the perfect workhorse to slot alongside Strider and Fried, giving the Braves at least three reliable, top-end starters once the playoffs arrive.

The expectation is that Montgomery will have a long line of interested suitors, but the Rangers might not pay up, and according to Jim Bowden of The Athletic, Montgomery doesn't particularly want a reunion with the Yankees or Cardinals. The door is open for Atlanta if Anthopoulos makes a push.

MLB RUMORS. Braves striking out, Ohtani spurned Giants, Soto-Yankees extension. Braves striking out, Ohtani spurned Giants, Soto-Yankees extension. dark