Braves rumors: 3 pitchers Alex Anthopoulos can sign with Marco Gonzales's money

The Atlanta Braves traded Marco Gonzales to the Pittsburgh Pirates at the MLB Winter Meetings, saving money in the process. Who will they sign to replace him?

Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves
Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages
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The Atlanta Braves traded starting pitcher Marco Gonzales to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night just days after acquiring him from the Seattle Mariners. Gonzales was thrown into the Jarred Kelenic deal, with the Braves agreeing to take on his salary in return for the young outfielder.

Kelenic should enter spring training as the favorite for Atlanta's corner outfield vacancy. Alex Anthopoulos and the Braves feel confident in Kelenic's ability to rebound with the right resources around him, which was not the case in Seattle. Gonzales, though, was not part of their long-term plan.

In trading Gonzales to the Pirates, the Braves still have a hole in their starting rotation. Atlanta was reportedly in on both Aaron Nola and Sonny Gray, who signed with the Phillies and Cardinals respectively, at one point. At this point in the offseason, expect the Braves to ink a mid-tier starter, adding a capable pitcher to eat innings alongside Spencer Strider, Max Fried, Charlie Morton and Co. Atlanta already has a solid rotation core for 2024. They don't need another ace.

But who will Anthopoulos pursue? Your guess is as good as ours, but here are some potential starting pitchers that fit the Braves mold.

Braves could pursue Marcus Stroman with the money saved in Marco Gonzales trade

By trading Gonzales, the Braves saved some of the remaining $30 million on his current contract. While Atlanta did send some cash consideration to the Pirates, it's safe to assume they are not paying off his entire deal, or else they would have pursued other options.

Marcus Stroman is expected to receive a deal of around $15 million AAV, per spotrac. If that mark is true, then the Braves should pursue him this winter. Stroman is in the second tier of available starting pitchers this offseason. He opted out of his current contract with the Cubs in search of a long-term deal.

Stroman is unlikely to re-sign in Chicago. He had a 3.95 ERA in 2023, but finished the season on a bit of a low point, giving up five runs in his final two starts as the Cubs missed the playoffs. It's tough to blame all of that on Stroman, who spent much of the final few months of the campaign recovering from injury.

In Atlanta, he would slot in behind Fried and Strider, and immediately improve a Braves rotation which needs reinforcements and depth.