GM Coppolella says Braves hope to add yet another starter
ATLANTA (AP) The Atlanta Braves may not be finished with the dramatic overhaul of their rotation.
General manager John Coppolella told The Associated Press on Wednesday he hopes to add another starting pitcher, even after agreeing to deals with veteran right-handers R.A. Dickey and Bartolo Colon last week.
Chicago White Sox ace left-hander Chris Sale might be available in a trade. The Braves apparently would make top prospects available for Sale, an All-Star in each of the last five seasons who could be a trade target of many teams.
The Braves have focused on young pitchers while trading such stars as Jason Heyward, Andrelton Simmons, Justin Upton, Evan Gattis and Craig Kimbrel in recent years. Coppolella said he's considering all options, including a trade involving prospects, in his search for another starter.
''We would like to add another starter if possible, but that will be more a function of market factors than any other factor,'' Coppolella said in a text message.
Sale, 27, would be the new top name for a rotation that includes Julio Teheran, Mike Foltynewicz and Josh Collmenter as the team moves into new SunTrust Park in suburban Cobb County next year.
Sale was 17-10 with a 3.34 ERA for the White Sox in 2016. He will earn $12 million in 2017. His contract includes club options at $12.5 million for 2018 and $15 million for 2019.
Dickey, 42, and Colon, 43, are short-term links to such young starters as Sean Newcomb, Kolby Allard, Max Fried and Touki Toussaint. Some other young starters, including Matt Wisler, Aaron Blair and Tyrell Jenkins, already have made their Atlanta debuts.
The Braves' one-year, $12.5 million deal with Colon and one-year contract with an $8 million guarantee with Dickey won't be official until the players pass physicals.
The deal with Dickey, the first of the 158 free agents to switch teams this offseason, was reached last Thursday. The agreement with Colon came one day later.
Sale has five straight seasons with double-digit wins. The Braves had no starter with as many as 10 wins last season. The hard-throwing Foltynewicz led the team with a 9-5 record.
Teheran, a two-time All-Star, is the leader of the rotation. The search for other proven starters has been the top offseason priority for Coppolella.
The Braves finished last in the NL East in 2016 but won 50 of their last 97 games, leading Coppolella to say the rebuilding effort was ahead of schedule. The promotion of rookie shortstop Dansby Swanson helped the team win 20 of its last 30 games, earning interim manager Brian Snitker the full-time job.