MLB Free Agents 2012: Why Atlanta Braves Need Starting Pitching

George SeligaCorrespondent IOctober 26, 2011

MLB Free Agents 2012: Why Atlanta Braves Need Starting Pitching

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    The Atlanta Braves just missed the playoffs this past year. Now, they have a big decision to make on what free-agent pitcher to go after this offseason.

    They have solid pitching in Tim Hudson, Jair Jurrjens and Tommy Hanson. Brandon Beachy and Mike Minor filled in very nicely for a good portion of the year.

    Derek Lowe had a really tough year as he had a 9-17 record with a 5.05 ERA. The Braves know they need a quality pitcher to improve their chances of making it to the postseason.

    Here are four free-agent pitchers they need to go after this offseason.

No. 4: Rich Harden

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    Rich Harden would fit in really well with the Braves starting pitching rotation. Granted, he is not the young stud he was in Oakland, but he can still be very valuable if he gets a chance.

    The Braves have a few young pitchers who are really good and a few veterans that are very dependable. Harden brings experience and a solid 3.76 ERA.

    I believe Harden could be that pitcher that solidifies a good rotation, and if he pitches like he did in his younger days, the Braves should be able to make the playoffs.

No. 3: Huroki Kuroda

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    Huroki Kuroda would be a solid pitcher for the Atlanta Braves. He would be a good fit for their fifth spot in the rotation. Kuroda has a .471 win percentage and solid 3.45 ERA. Huroki has been very effective for the Los Angeles Dodgers the past four seasons and always gave them a chance to win.

    The Braves need a more consistent veteran that can get them above 10 wins. Kuroda is capable of doing this and much more.

No. 2: Edwin Jackson

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    Edwin Jackson could be a very good free-agent pickup for the Braves. Jackson is only 28 years old and has settled in to be a pretty good pitcher. Jackson has a career 4.46 ERA which is a little high, but a .500 win percentage.

    Jackson would fit into the Braves rotation very nicely. He has a .515 win percentage against  National League teams and a career WHIP of 1.476.

    The Braves would become a playoff contender if they added Edwin Jackson to their starting rotation.

No. 1: C.J. Wilson

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    C.J. Wilson would be a fantastic fit for any team, especially the Atlanta Braves. Wilson has grown over the last two years and has become the dominant starter for the Texas Rangers. He has a career win percentage of .551 and a 3.60 ERA for his career.

    Wilson pitches in a hitter's ballpark, and if he would go to the Braves, he could be pitching in a pitcher-friendly park. Wilson would easily jump into the No. 1 spot in the rotation which would make this one of the best starting pitching rotations in all of baseball.

    The Braves should definitely pursue C.J. Wilson because he gives them the best shot at winning a World Series title.