Alex Anthopoulos says Braves payroll will rise

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The Braves payroll has gone up every year since the inception of The Battery and Truist Park, as fans continue to pack the house on a nightly basis, and general manager Alex Anthopoulos ensures it will rise once again in 2024.

The higher-ups within the Braves organization have talked profusely about being one of the top five payrolls in the game. That’s the goal, but they’ve also hinted that it will take baby steps to get there.

According to Spotrac, the Braves payroll in 2023 ranked 10th at just over $206 million. The Phillies finished 5th at over $245 million, and that number for the 5th place spot will probably be even higher in 2024.

Expecting the Braves payroll to jump by $40-50 million may not be reasonable, but the reality probably is not much further off. In the past, we’ve seen jumps of over half of that. The Braves had a payroll of $152 million in 2021, followed by $179 million in 2022, and finally $206 million in 2023. Going off that, it’s reasonable to assume the Braves could be sporting an end-of-the-year payroll of about $230 million, which should place them firmly inside the top 10 in the league.

That leaves Anthopoulos with some room to maneuver, but not as much as some might assume. Following the deals for Charlie Morton, Pierce Johnson, and Joe Jimenez, the Braves already have a payroll of $190-200 million when including arbitration projections, which should leave them with about $30-40 million to spend this offseason.

The good news is the Braves don’t have a ton of holes to fill. They must add to the rotation in some capacity, even if I wouldn’t expect them to be big-game hunting. The Braves also must address left field, while their bullpen and bench are some lesser needs. That shouldn’t be too difficult to accomplish with payroll expected to rise, but the very top of the free agent market is likely out of their price range.

Photo: David John Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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