The Atlanta Braves had MLB’s best offense in 2023, with 947 runs scored and a .501 slugging percentage.
Their pitching staff, while good, wasn’t nearly as elite: with a 4.14 ERA, they finished 15th in MLB.
Perhaps that was the biggest reason behind their first-round exit in the postseason in the last two years.
They are determined to improve their staff: they asked about Aaron Nola before he signed with the Philadelphia Phillies, they remain interested in Yoshinobu Yamamoto, and they just signed Reynaldo Lopez to a three-year deal.
It’s a three-year, $26 million contract with an $8 million option for a fourth season.
Lopez had a 3.27 ERA in 66 innings for three different clubs last season, and represents a worthy gamble for the NL East champs.
Fans (and even some former players) weighed in on the signing.
Former major leaguer Kelvim Escobar praised the signing for the Braves.
Great arm 💪🏾
— kelvim escobar (@kelvimescobar) November 20, 2023
Besides a few jokes about “the wrong spelling for Sonny Gray or Shohei Ohtani”, most fans liked the addition of Lopez.
— Jo Jo Stephens (@mrjojostephens) November 20, 2023
Stealth AA strikes again. Gotta love it! 😎🔥
— BballFansofAmerica (@BballFansofAmer) November 20, 2023
“AA” stands for Alex Anthopoulos, the Braves’ president of baseball operations.
Now we’re talking
— ✭QUA✭ (@SHOOTIIN) November 20, 2023
AA out here getting it done!
— Anna Huffstutler (@A_Huffstutler) November 20, 2023
The Braves are apparently going to prepare Lopez as a starter during the offseason and spring training.
For his career, he has a 4.73 ERA as a starter and a 3.01 mark as a reliever.
He has never been in such a quality organization like the Braves before, with more people prepared to help him and more resources to help him maintain his stuff through five, six, or seven innings.
In any case, it’s a high-upside addition for the Braves pitching corps, one that could prove helpful down the road.NEXT: Braves Reportedly Have An Intriguing Plan For Newest Addition