3 pitchers Atlanta Braves could sign with Anthopoulos ready to spend big

The Atlanta Braves are prepared to spend for free agent pitching. Here are a few worthy candidates.

Aaron Nola, Philadelphia Phillies
Aaron Nola, Philadelphia Phillies / Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY
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2. Blake Snell

Blake Snell should have an abundance of suitors in free agency. He led the MLB in ERA last season (2.25), the second such campaign in his career. He won the Cy Young award back in 2018 with the Tampa Bay Rays and he's about to finish near the top in 2023 with the San Diego Padres.

Unfortunately, Snell's individual efforts couldn't elevate the Padres to their desired level of contention last season. San Diego struggled to meet payroll demands, so cost-cutting is inevitable. It could start with letting Snell walk, and the Braves should eagerly place a call for the 30-year-old.

The book on Snell is pretty straightforward. He has a serious walk problem — his 13.3 walk percentage sat in the MLB's fourth percentile last season — but otherwise, the blemishes are few and far between. He packs solid 95.5 MPH heat on his fastball, his breaking pitches encourage batters to chase, and he strikes out 31.5 percent of his opponents (94th percentile).

The one-two punch of Strider and Snell at the top of the rotation would allow the Braves to make quick work of most opponents. Factor into a potential resurgent Fried, and it's hard to fathom a better 1-2-3 punch in the majors.

If the Braves can reassert their pitching dominance, on top of a historic offense, the rest of the league might be in trouble.