Atlanta Braves interested in adding Adam Wainwright in 2021

JUPITER, FLORIDA - MARCH 12: Adam Wainwright #50 of the St. Louis Cardinals delivers a pitch during the spring training game against the Miami Marlins at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on March 12, 2020 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
JUPITER, FLORIDA - MARCH 12: Adam Wainwright #50 of the St. Louis Cardinals delivers a pitch during the spring training game against the Miami Marlins at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on March 12, 2020 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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The Atlanta Braves are reportedly interested in adding Adam Wainwright to the 2021 roster in an effort to shore up their pitching staff.

Starting pitching was the ultimate downfall of the Atlanta Braves in 2020, and they’re looking to make sure that doesn’t happen again in 2021.

According to David O’Brien and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Braves are looking to add long time St. Louis Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright to the rotation.

It’d be a great addition for the Braves. Wainwright would bring a strong veteran presence to the staff and a championship pedigree.

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Statistically, Wainwright is coming off his best season since 2015. He posted a 3.15 ERA in 10 starts, relying heavily on his exceptional curveball to induce ground ball outs.

His expected numbers, however, were not as good. He posted an above average hard hit rate at 36.6%, which is not something you’d expect from a ground ball pitcher with a 3.15 ERA. Which is probably why his expected ERA was 4.52, more than a full run higher than his actual ERA.

So heading into his age 39 season, it’s unrealistic to expect Wainwright to be the horse at the top of the rotation that his reputation suggests he should be. However, he can bring a consistent veteran presence at the backend of a talented young rotation. The Braves are set with frontline starters with Mike Soroka, Ian Anderson, and Max Fried. What they need is a stable presence to guide that three headed monster to playoff success.

Of course, Wainwright is no slouch. He may be on the decline, but he still knows how to get outs at the major league level. He’s been doing it for 15 years with the St. Louis Cardinals and it’s worked out pretty well for them.

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It’s a win-win situation for both parties. The Atlanta Braves get a proven starter who can guide their young rotation to sustained success. And Adam Wainwright gets to join a World Series hopeful team. All that’s left to figure out now is how much money it’ll take to sign Wainwright in the most aggressive budget-slashing off-season of all time.