MLB Rumors: 3 pitchers the Braves should sign, 2 they should avoid

The Braves would benefit by adding one starting pitcher.

Oct 15, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Texas Rangers pitcher Jordan Montgomery (52) throws during the
Oct 15, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Texas Rangers pitcher Jordan Montgomery (52) throws during the / Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
2 of 5
Next

4) The Braves need to avoid the uncertainty Blake Snell would bring

Blake Snell is seen by most as the best pitcher still available, and for good reason. The guy just won the NL Cy Young Award. It's the second Cy Young of Snell's career, as he continues what's been a strange career thus far. Saying the Braves shouldn't sign the reigning Cy Young winner could be considered a hot take, but it's one that needs to be said.

With Montgomery, you know what you're going to get. The Braves would be able to rely on 30+ starts and 150+ innings. That's what he's given his teams in each of the last three seasons. While Snell certainly has more upside, you have no idea what you're going to get from him year after year.

Snell has made 30+ starts twice in his career. He won the Cy Young Award both times. Those years were obviously great, but the other six years in which Snell did not win a Cy Young, he's left a lot to be desired. For example, in between his Cy Young wins from 2019-2022, he posted a 3.85 ERA making 20+ starts just twice. So he pitched like a mid-rotation arm and never threw 130 innings.

While Snell's stuff is off the charts, his command is subpar at best. He obviously had a fantastic year in 2023, but led the league with 99 walks issued. His poor command forces him to work with high pitch counts, limiting how deep he can go in games. The Braves do have an excellent bullpen, but it puts an awful strain on the relievers if he can rarely go deep. He went past six innings just three times in his Cy Young year.

The upside cannot be denied. At this point it wouldn't be shocking if he wins a Cy Young again in 2024. However, banking on him to win a Cy Young over the field isn't wise. When he hasn't been good enough to win it, he's either missed time or has pitched like a third or fourth starter. The uncertainty, especially for his price tag, is something the Braves should avoid.