Another sign Max Fried should seriously consider re-signing with Braves

MLB: AUG 09 Braves at Pirates

The Braves and Max Fried appear to be at a standstill when it comes to contract negotiations. We know the Braves aren’t typically one to budge off their original offer, and Fried doesn’t seem interested in what’s currently on the table. However, if anybody should be paying close attention to this year’s free agency, it is Fried and his representatives.

Last night, Jordan Montgomery, who was reportedly hoping to land a deal worth north of $150 million, settled for a one-year, $25 million contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks, with a player option in year two for another $25 million. This comes not long after 2023 NL Cy Young award recipient Blake Snell agreed to a very similar contract with the Giants, but for $31 million per year.

Some of the blame has to be laid at the feet of their agent, the notorious Scott Boras. He very clearly overplayed his hand, and as the season got closer, the value of his clients plummeted instead of increased as he hoped it would. The starting pitching market was far from dead this offseason. Yoshinobu Yamamoto landed over $300 million before ever pitching an MLB inning, and Aaron Nola also re-upped with the Phillies for seven years, $172 million.

However, the way the market shaped out for Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery should serve as a cautionary tale. Clubs around the league aren’t eager to throw more than $150 million on just any starting pitcher, and Fried has a pretty extensive injury history. He’s only thrown more than 165 innings once in his career and is coming off a season in which he threw just 77.2 innings in 14 starts after missing most of the year with elbow discomfort.

To this point, Max Fried seems quite comfortable betting on himself and, more specifically, his health. Everybody knows what Fried is capable of when he’s on the mound. He’s arguably the best left-handed arm on the planet, but his health is a concern for any team looking to potentially spend $200 million on a starting pitcher.

Additionally, Fried hasn’t exactly been brilliant in the postseason. In 19 playoff appearances (11 starts), he owns a 2-4 record with a 4.57 ERA. Based on this year’s market, if he turns in another injury-riddled campaign or has another shoddy postseason, it’s possible his market isn’t nearly as hot as he may have imagined.

If I’m Alex Anthopoulos watching this go down, I’m holding my ground, and if I’m Max Fried, I’m seriously considering whether there isn’t a common ground where the two sides can meet ahead of free agency.

Photo: Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire

Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: