Add Chris Sale to the list of those hoping to see the Braves extend Max Fried

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The line of people in Braves Country hoping to see a Max Fried contract extension before he tests free agency at the end of the season starts at the very tip of south Florida and extends to the Mason Dixon Line, and you can add his new teammate to that list.

Despite only being around Max Fried for about a month at Spring Training, Chris Sale is already impressed with his approach.

“He’s a great dude, great teammate,” Sale said. “An unbelievable competitor. Being able to hold down this rotation as long as he has is impressive. I’d like to keep him here for some years, but that’s not up to me.”

The feeling around the league is that Max Fried will eventually test free agency, and when that happens, he’s gone. We’ve seen the same song and dance with two faces of the Braves franchise in recent years. Freddie Freeman departed to Los Angeles and Dansby Swanson is now in Chicago.

Alex Anthopoulos has not been shy about his strategy when it comes to players he wants to keep. He wants to extend them early, and by doing that, he hopes to sign them to a deal well below market value. We’ve seen it with a countless number of star players, so if it hasn’t happened by now, it doesn’t seem likely it’s going to occur over the next six months.

The one glimmer of hope Braves fans can hang their hats on is the Aaron Nola situation that took place this past offseason. The Braves reportedly offered him a six-year contract worth north of $160 million. That would have crushed the largest deal for a free agent in franchise history by more than double.

So, the Braves have the money, and they are apparently willing to spend it on the right pitcher. Aaron Nola may be more durable than Max Fried over the course of their respective careers, but there’s no question that Fried has been the significantly better pitcher when healthy.

If the Braves were willing to go that high with Nola, I’m not sure why they wouldn’t be willing to go a little further with Fried. They have money to spend, and if there’s one concern regarding the future of this team, it lies with the rotation. Inking Fried to a long-term contract would put all of those concerns to rest.

Photo: Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire

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