The Atlanta Braves have 15 games remaining, and they’ve already clinched their sixth straight NL East title. In a matter of days, they will clinch a first-round bye followed by home field advantage throughout the playoffs. However, one thing to potentially watch out for is extensions before the end of the season. It’s something Anthopoulos has become known for since becoming GM of the Braves, and with the division wrapped up, perhaps he will try to hammer some things down before the playoffs begin.
Let’s start off with a bang. This is going to be the talk of the offseason unless the Atlanta Braves somehow work out an extension with Max Fried over the next few weeks. Fried might be the best pitcher in baseball, and he deserves to be paid like it. Unfortunately, that’s not exactly the Braves MO. With one year remaining on his contract, this looks like an all too familiar situation. I get queasy just thinking about a Braves rotation without Max Fried leading it, but Alex Anthopoulos has let several key pieces walk before and the Braves have been just fine.
Johnson was acquired at the trade deadline and has been straight up unhittable since joining the Braves, posting a 0.90 ERA with a 12.2 K/9 over 20 appearances. Looking at the state of the Braves bullpen, they really need to bolster this unit this offseason, so handing Johnson a 2-3 year deal seems like a wise business decision.
Minter has been a key cog in the Braves bullpen for a few years now, and while there have been some inconsistencies at times, he’s established himself as one of the best left-handed relievers in baseball. Without him, Atlanta’s bullpen would be a rather pathetic group. He has one year left of arbitration remaining before becoming an unrestricted free agent. The Braves need to lock Minter up before then.
Sure, Albies has four years of control on his ultra team-friendly contract, but Austin Riley had plenty of control left on his deal and the Braves went ahead and signed him for ten years. Albies seems to love it in Atlanta, and he’s the most consistently great second baseman in the game not named Jose Altuve. Locking him up for the remainder of his prime years needs to happen, so why not now?
Copy and paste everything I just said about Albies right here for Acuna. The favorite for the 2023 NL MVP award needs to be a Brave for life, and the sooner Alex Anthopoulos gets this deal done, the better it is going to be for the Braves.
Good bench depth is critical to success over 162 games, and Pillar has provided some incredible moments for the Atlanta Braves this season in timely situations. I would love to have him back on a 1-2 year deal and would be surprised if Alex Anthopoulos isn’t working to make that happen.
Rosario has a $9 million option that I expect the Braves to pick up, but they could do something similar to what they did with Charlie Morton and Travis d’Arnaud recently, guaranteeing the $9 million for next year and giving him another $9 million option for 2025.
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