Braves rumors: Sonny Gray problem, Nola offer, another missed opportunity

Why Sonny Gray signing with the Braves is no guarantee. What did Atlanta actually offer Aaron Nola? And another starter may be off the board soon.

Minnesota Twins v Atlanta Braves
Minnesota Twins v Atlanta Braves / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages
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Braves rumors: Another pitcher is off the board for Atlanta

While the Atlanta Braves have been linked to top-flight starting pitchers like Aaron Nola and Sonny Gray, there are other, less-expensive players who could be a better fit for Alex Anthopoulos and Co. Kenta Maeda, also a former Twin himself, would serve as an immediate upgrade in the Braves rotation. However, Atlanta has yet to show much interest in the former Cy Young runner-up.

Maeda has been most connected to the Detroit Tigers. Detroit needs to replace Eduardo Rodriguez in their own rotation, and Maeda could be a far cheaper option than re-signing E-Rod. If Scott Harris is willing to overpay for Maeda on a multiyear deal, he could steal him from multiple interested suitors as well as the Twins.

It's not all sunshine and rainbows for Maeda, of course. He missed all of the 2022 season with an injury and had a 4.23 ERA for the Twins in 2023. In fact, he hasn't pitched like a frontline starting pitcher since 2020, when he led the Minnesota rotation in a shortened season.

While talks with the Tigers have intensified, Minnesota is also interested in a reunion. The Braves, to this point, have yet to be mentioned. The majority of the frontline starting pitcher market seems to be awaiting the decision of Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who was posted last Monday and is one of the best available starting pitchers in the world.