Atlanta still boasts a strong group of relievers, but David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution believes that unit could get even stronger if the Braves are able to re-sign O'Flaherty. O'Brien adds that talks between the Braves and O'Flaherty are "not dead."
#Braves strong bullpen could still get significantly better if O'Flaherty is re-signed. Talks not dead.Entering last season, O'Flaherty was considered one of the top relievers in the game. From 2011-12, the left-hander maintained an ERA and WHIP of 1.31 and 1.115. He was off to another nice start last year, but he ultimately required Tommy John surgery, undergoing the procedure in May.
— David O'Brien (@ajcbraves) December 30, 2013
Considering when he went under the knife, O'Flaherty is expected to miss the start of the 2014 campaign. After returning, pitchers can take another year to fully recover from surgery, but O'Flaherty is still only 28 years old. With his previous level of production, he still figures to command a contract with significant incentives, even if his base salary is impacted by the fact that he's returning from major surgery.