The Atlanta rotation saw a deep subtraction when Tim Hudson left for the Giants; though Julio Teheran, Mike Minor, Brandon Beachy, Kris Medlen are not a demoralizing top four. The fifth spot will belong to somebody out of camp, like Gavin Floyd or Freddy Garcia or Alex Wood. Unless, of course, the Braves make a real pursuit of Cubs ace Jeff Samardzija.
Samardzija is coming off a full year of work with the Cubs, in which he started 33 games, going 8-13 with a 4.34 ERA in 213.2 innings; one of two guys to hit the 200 inning threshold for Chicago and the only one to cross it. Samardzija had the second best SO/BB ratio on the team (2.74) behind Matt Garza (3.10), who appeared in a third of the amount of games as Samardzija. In May, he allowed 22 hits in 35 innings with 33 strikeouts.
The 29-year-old righty would be a hell of an addition to the Braves' rotation. However, as we learned in December, he would cost them Jason Heyward or Justin Upton, a price Atlanta was not willing to pay. Still, ESPN reports that scouts from teams interested in Samardzija from the offseason (Which could include the Nationals, Blue Jays, and D-backs) were watching him pitch as late as the Cubs' first Spring Training game, and the Braves have been making it clear just who they plan on keeping around. Any spare - albeit large - parts could be seen as necessary losses to gain ground in a weak area.