The Atlanta Braves haven’t had a left-handed starting pitcher in their rotation for a pretty long time — in fact, September 6th, 2015 was the last time that a lefty started a game for the Braves.
That will change by the time next season rolls around, because the Braves have acquired Jaime Garcia in a trade with the Cardinals.
Source: The Cardinals have agreed to deal left-hander Jaime Garcia to the Atlanta Braves for prospects. https://t.co/a98uRidLgc— Mark Saxon (@markasaxon) December 1, 2016
Garcia will be entering his age-31 season in 2017 (which makes him basically a teenager compared to Bartolo Colon and R.A. Dickey), and he’s coming off a season where he recorded a 4.67 ERA with a 4.49 FIP over 30 starts for the Cardinals, and he ended up compiling 1.2 fWAR on the season. St. Louis exercised his option for this upcoming season, which means that he’ll be getting $12 M in 2017.
That part about the contract is important, because that probably means that the Braves didn’t have to give up much in this deal. In fact, Mark Bowman has tweeted that the prospects that the Braves gave up are “mid-level,” and that turned out to be the case as the Braves ended up sending John Gant, Chris Ellis, and Luke Dykstra to the Cardinals.
John Gant goes to Cardinals in deal, source tells SBN.— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) December 1, 2016
Overall, if that’s the cost for acquiring Jaime Garcia, then you’ll take it. Gant is obviously the big name here, but it won’t hurt the Braves’ farm too much to lose him. As underwhelming as Garcia was in 2016, he’s still probably going to serve as a small improvement for the Braves’ rotation next year.
Plus, there are still lingering rumors that the Braves may not be done adding starting pitching yet. Things should definitely get even more interesting as we head into the Winter Meetings.