Braves could come to regret offseason trade after former All-Star's electric spring

Michael Soroka always had the talent, but injury concerns led to his Atlanta Braves departure.

Michael Soroka, Atlanta Braves
Michael Soroka, Atlanta Braves / Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves/GettyImages

Atlanta Braves fans should wish nothing but the best for Michael Soroka, but you have to wonder if Atlanta moved on from him a year too soon. Soroka was dealt to the Chicago White Sox in a package deal that saw the Braves pick up a veteran reliever who has never won anything in Aaron Bummer. Yes, it was a bummer to see Soroka leave in the offseason trade for Bummer, but what can we do?

Well, we can all hope that he totally reinvents himself as a front-end starter for the South Siders. Soroka has been forced up the White Sox's rotation to the No. 2 spot after the Dylan Cease trade. With him having an impressive spring, you have to wonder if he would have made the Braves' Opening Day roster as the No. 5 starter, instead of Reynaldo Lopez, who will probably end up being a long arm.

Here is what Daryl Van Schouwen wrote last week about Soroka's spring for the Chicago Sun-Times.

“Entering spring training, it was unclear if Soroka would win a rotation spot. However, with Dylan Cease traded away and Brad Keller set to start the year in the minors, Soroka will pitch toward the top of the rotation to begin the regular season. He’s battled a number of significant injuries across the last several years, though he did manage to log 32.1 innings in the majors in 2023. Still only 26, Soroka has also had an impressive spring, allowing only two earned runs across 13 innings while maintaining a 17:5 K:BB.”

I mean, I fully understand why Atlanta moved on from him. Soroka was unreliable the last four seasons. He had a brilliant 2019 All-Star campaign, but a pair of torn Achilles kept him off the big-league club all of 2021 and 2022. While Soroka did return last season, his up-and-down nature led him to being a Quad-A player with the Braves. Other guys were better options out of the rotation.

The big question I have is if the Braves will regret seeing Soroka shine with his new team this year.

Braves must deal with Michael Soroka living well over with the White Sox

Any time there is a divorce of any kind, you have to come to grips that the other party will occasionally have their wins. Only time will tell who truly is the winning party in a divorce, but this split seems to have been of the mutual variety. Soroka probably wanted a clean start, as well as an opportunity to get regular usage in a major league rotation. Atlanta probably wanted to just move on.

To be totally honest, I think the Braves want to see a good guy like Soroka pitch well with his new team. No harm, no foul. It just didn't work out for a number of reasons. However, if Bummer is a bum on the mound for Atlanta, Braves fans will question why general manager Alex Anthopoulos cut bait with Soroka a year too early. He is still very much in his mid-20s, so he has plenty of tread on the tires.

Overall, the only way the Braves are going to regret moving on from Soroka is if Bummer is not good for them and they have no answer for the No. 5 spot in the starting rotation. Fortunately, Atlanta has plenty of arms in the minor league system to either rectify the need, long-term or even temporarily, or potentially use any of them as trade assets to get a good starting pitcher on a bad team to join them.

Not until we see how Bummer and Lopez pitch this season will we know if the Braves regret the move.

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