Potential Braves Spencer Strider replacement has impressive debut for division rival

The Atlanta Braves will need to replace Spencer Strider eventually. One rival offers an intriguing option.
Atlanta Braves v Tampa Bay Rays
Atlanta Braves v Tampa Bay Rays / Mike Ehrmann/GettyImages

For now, the Atlanta Braves answer for an injured Spencer Strider is Darius Vines. While Alex Anthopoulos, Brian Snitker and Co. have plenty of confidence in Vines, his ceiling is only so high.

Atlanta found out the hard way last season what happens when they lack starting pitching depth. Max Fried and Kyle Wright went down early in the campaign, and the Braves never really replaced them. The duo came back late in the season and were hardly the same. An NLDS defeat to the division rival Phillies proved just that.

Replacing a player like Strider will be far tougher. Strider entered the season as the unquestioned ace of this staff, and the likely heir-apparent for Fried, who is expected to at least test free agency next winter. In eyeing a replacement for Strider via trade, the Braves will have to take Fried's future into account as well.

Could the Braves trade with a rival to replace Spencer Strider?

Atlanta is no stranger to trading with the rival Marlins. A deal to acquire then-Marlin Adam Duvall in 2021 played a critical role in their eventual World Series title. If the Braves hope to reach the same heights in 2024, adding a starting pitcher like Edward Cabrera could do them some good.

Cabrera went 7-7 last season with a 4.01 ERA and 1.445 WHIP. If he can lower his walk rate, Cabrera could be among the best pitchers available come the trade deadline. Of course, this all depends on if the Marlins are willing to trade one of their best starters.

Cabrera has at least three seasons of arbitration left on his contract. If he were acquired by Atlanta, he'd be a classic extension candidate for Anthopoulos, who prefers to avoid such conflicts each spring.

In his season debut, Cabrera struck out 10 hitters in over six innings of work. He also walked just one Giants hitter in the process.

Acquiring Cabrera would be costly given his contract length and completing a deal within the NL East. However, he'd fill a roll for the Braves both in the interim and the near future, which is something Anthopoulos should at the very least consider given Strider's injury.