The Kansas City Royals and the Atlanta Braves pulled off two different trades on Friday. First, the Royals traded cash considerations for reliever Nick Anderson. A few hours later, the Braves traded starting pitcher Kyle Wright for another pitcher in Jackson Kowar. Both of these pitchers were former first-round picks. Wright is expected to miss the entire 2024 season after undergoing right shoulder surgery. Just yesterday alone the Braves traded away four players, Anderson, Wright, Mike Soroka, and Jared Shuster. During the 2023 free agency thus far, Atlanta has lost Anderson, Wright, Soroka, Shuster, Nicky Lopez, Braden Shewmake, Eddie Rosario, Collin McHugh and Kirby Yates. These moves may be questionable as this was a team that had the best record in the Majors, winning 64 percent of their games. Ultimately they just couldn’t get it done during the postseason.
The Atlanta Braves are sending RHP Kyle Wright to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for RHP Jackson Kowar. pic.twitter.com/vUkREBDwr2
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) November 18, 2023
Kyle Wright’s Tremendous 2022 Season & Horrendous 2023 Season
In 2022, Kyle Wright led the Majors with 21 wins, becoming the first Braves pitcher since Tom Glavine did it in 2000 to lead the league in wins. Through 30 appearances, Wright posted a 21-5 record. He put up a 3.19 ERA through 180 innings with 174 strikeouts. However, last season was a completely different story for the 28-year-old starting pitcher. In seven starts and nine games in total, Kyle posted a 1-3 record. Through 31 innings pitched, he had an atrocious 6.97 ERA. While he won’t hit the free agent market until 2027, the Royals have to wait a whole year just to see Wright back on the mound. If he comes back healthy and produces how he did back in 2022 with the Braves, perhaps the Royals could be a legitimate threat.
Can Jackson Kowar Get His Career on Track?
To say the least, Jackson Kowar struggled in his first three major league seasons with the Royals. Jackson has a record of 2-6 through his first three seasons. He went 0-6 during his rookie year in 2021. His career ERA is downright awful at 9.12. Kowar also has given up as many runs as he has strikeouts. Now he joins a team that has made the postseason for the past six seasons, he’ll hope to get his career back on track.
Photo Credit: © William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports