October 17, 2021

NL East offseason preview — Will Nationals keep the band together? (ESPN)

With free agency underway, the offseason is going to pick up steam. What are the big questions facing all 30 teams?

Here’s a look at the NL East, which features four potential contenders, including the World Series champs.

Team-by-team offseason previews: NL Central | NL West | AL East

Atlanta Braves: Will Gerrit Cole, Madison Bumgarner or any other star pitcher be in a Braves uniform next season?

2019 record: 97-65
2020 World Series odds: 10-1

General manager Alex Anthopoulos was as patient as anyone last season as he methodically built a division winner — not just in the winter but during the season as well. In fact, some of his best work came after April 1, including the acquisitions of Dallas Keuchel, Mark Melancon and Shane Greene. But it’s a new year, and it might call for a new strategy.

With a dynamic offense in place, combined with young starters such as Max Fried and Mike Soroka, it’s time for the Braves to put the finishing touches on their rotation. Keuchel was a nice stopgap, but the Braves came up short in the postseason in part because Keuchel pitched on short rest and Fried threw in four of the five games in the division series against the Cardinals. The Braves’ needs…

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