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Kyle Wright thanks Braves fans in emotional instagram post following trade.

Kyle Wright, Atlanta Braves

Kyle Wright posted a heartfelt tribute to Atlanta Braves fans on Instagram after being traded to the Kansas City Royals.

The Atlanta Braves sent shockwaves through the MLB world on Saturday with their decision to trade Kyle Wright to the Kansas City Royals. In exchange, the Braves will take a chance on 27-year-old Jackson Kowar, a right-handed reliever with one minor league option left on his contract.

Wright spent the first six years of his MLB career with the Braves, including a World Series victory in 2021. Now, he embarks on a new chapter.

Before he closes the book on Atlanta, however, Wright took to Instagram with a heartfelt message to the fanbase and the organization.

“Thank you to the Braves for giving me the opportunity to play for my favorite childhood team. The memories and friendships I have made are lifelong and ones I will cherish forever. To everyone who supported me, it was an honor to get to put on that jersey for you all. I’m thankful for those who believed in me even when I started to have doubts of myself. That truly helped lead me to where I am today,” Wright wrote on Instagram.

Kyle Wright bids farewell to Braves fandom with heartfelt goodbye.

Wright is slated to miss the entire 2024 season after undergoing surgery on a torn capsule in his right shoulder in October. He appeared sporadically for Atlanta during the 2023 season, dealing with persistent shoulder problems before finally shutting down in September. His velocity suffered as a result of his wavering health, and he posted an abysmal 6.97 ERA and 1.839 WHIP in nine games (seven starts).

Of course, the difficult end to Wright’s Atlanta tenure is not what he will be remembered for. In 2022, Wright led the MLB with 21 wins, posting a 3.19 ERA and 1.159 WHIP en route to a 10th-place finish in Cy Young voting. He made 30 starts in total, pitching 180.1 innings and striking out 174 batters.

That is the Wright Kansas City hopes will show up when the 2025 season rolls around. Wright is arbitration-eligible and under team control through the 2026 season.

For Atlanta, it’s a bet on upside with Kowar, who split 2023 between the majors and triple-A Omaha, posting a 6.43 ERA and 1.929 WHIP in 23 MLB appearances (28.0 innings pitched). He boasts a strong 96.9 MPH fastball, which ranks in the 91st percentile for velocity according to Baseball Savant, but control issues have plagued Kowar at every level.

Wright should be able to embrace his fresh start. The Braves are making critical adjustments to the pitching staff after a disappointing postseason finish. Wright not only has injury concerns long-term, but he was slated behind Spencer Strider, Max Fried, and Charlie Morton on a team expected to pursue pitching upgrades during the offseason. With the Royals, Wright will have a chance to return to ace status once he’s back to full strength.

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