"Sources said the Braves have contacted Wainwright, a two-time Cy Young Award runner-up and a free agent after 15 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals, about returning to the organization that drafted him 20 years ago out of Glynn Academy near his hometown of St. Simons Island, where the 6-foot-7 right-hander and his family still make their home."
Wainwright did not discuss the Braves' reported interest but provided comment to The Athletic: "At this point, we have received many calls and are listening to all options."
Per The Athletic, Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos did not provide comment on Wainwright or any other "free agent possibilities." Rosenthal and O'Brien reported that Atlanta manager Brian Snitker "has kept in contact with Wainwright through the years."
Wainwright went 5-3 with a 3.15 ERA and 1.05 WHIP last year while striking out 54 batters in 65.2 innings.
The Braves picked Wainwright 29th overall in the 2000 MLB draft out of Glynn Academy in Brunswick, Georgia. Atlanta traded him to the St. Louis Cardinals on Dec. 13, 2013, in a five-player deal.
Wainwright's entire MLB career, which began in 2005, has been with the Redbirds. He is 167-98 with 1,830 strikeouts and a 3.38 lifetime ERA. He's finished second in the National League Cy Young voting twice and third another two times.
The three-time All-Star led the league with 19 victories in 2009 and 2013 and shutouts in 2013 and 2014.
Wainwright is perhaps best known for his strikeout of New York Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran with the bases loaded and two out in the bottom of the ninth inning of the Cards' 3-1 win in Game 7 of the 2006 National League Championship Series. St. Louis eventually won the World Series that year over the Detroit Tigers.
The right-hander missed the entirety of the Cards' 2011 World Series-winning season after suffering a torn UCL and undergoing Tommy John surgery. He returned in 2012 and helped the Cards win the 2013 National League pennant, however.
St. Louis has only had a losing record during one of Wainwright's seasons and missed the playoffs just six times during that span.
The 39-year-old veteran would be a good addition to a young Braves starting rotation that includes NL Cy Young candidate Max Fried, fireballer Ian Anderson and the promising Mike Soroka, who missed nearly the entire 2020 season with a torn right Achilles tendon.
Atlanta was one game away from beating the eventual World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers, who took down the Braves in the NL Championship Series four games to three. With Wainwright, Atlanta could obtain the edge needed to put it over the top.