The Braves have some questions to answer on their roster, but the outfield provides limited uncertainty. Ronald Acuña Jr. clearly isn’t going anywhere, and Michael Harris II is locked up on a long extension. However, left field has been a problem at times.
Marcell Ozuna finally rebuilt his value with a solid season, so the Braves could look to trade him or potentially keep him. He was an offensive zero in the postseason, so it gives the Braves something to think about. Eddie Rosario is a postseason legend, but his time may very well be up in Atlanta. The Braves hold a club option that they may not choose to exercise. Kevin Pillar, who was on a one year deal, already hinted that he may not be back in Atlanta. The Braves probably won’t go out and pay hand over fist for a left fielder if Marcell Ozuna sticks around (and they may not do it so anyways), so it’s worth considering some lower-cost options if they do decide to roll with Ozuna in 2024. This will be a full series, so look out for future editions.
OF Adam Duvall — Boston Red Sox
We’re starting off with a bang here. Although Duvall missed a large chunk of the season with a broken wrist, he still finished with 21 home runs and an .834 OPS. A reunion in Atlanta would make a ton of sense, and I would welcome him back with open arms. His price tag may be steep, but I’m comfortable handing Duvall a decent contract.
OF Joc Pederson — San Francisco Giants
Another familiar face, and I’m sure every Braves fan would love to bring Joctober back to Atlanta after back-to-back disappointing postseason showings when the offense had no spark in the playoffs. Pederson should have never been let go in the first place and bringing him back would be a really exciting signing.
OF Michael A. Taylor — Minnesota Twins
Taylor is a guy I thought the Braves would go after at the 2022 deadline, but the Royals held onto him and he signed a one-year deal with the Twins. He turned that into a season in which he clubbed a career high 21 home runs and stole 13 bases. He plays pretty solid defense, so he’s definitely worth considering if you’re Atlanta.
OF Teoscar Hernández — Seattle Mariners
Hernández was decent for the Mariners after coming over from Toronto, but he never recaptured that 2021 All Star season. He could still be a really solid starter, but the fit here is a bit weird.
OF Jurickson Profar — San Diego Padres
Profar finished strong with the Padres after coming over from Colorado, posting a .776 OPS in 14 games after being released by the Rockies. He’s a switch hitter who can play almost every position; something the Braves should value.
OF Michael Brantley — Houston Astros
Time to do this old song-and-dance again. Brantley isn’t the player he once was, and if the Astros win another World Series, he may just retire. However, he continues to fend off father time, as he posted a .724 OPS last season and could be a lefty option.
OF Kevin Kiermaier — Toronto Blue Jays
The Outlaw is another guy who is aging like a fine wine, as Kiermaier put up a .741 OPS and continued to play his brand of great defense for the Blue Jays in 2023. He wouldn’t be a terrible option for the right price.
OF Travis Jankowski — Texas Rangers
Jankowski would be a lefty platoon option for the Braves, and coming off of a deep postseason run with the Rangers, he may drive up his own price tag. However, with Evan Carter in the fold, Texas may let him walk and the Braves could be interested.
OF Aaron Hicks — Baltimore Orioles
Hicks was a different man after leaving the Yankees, putting up an .806 OPS with 7 home runs over 65 games with the Orioles. I wouldn’t give him a huge contract, but a cheap prove-it deal isn’t off the table either.
OF Max Kepler — Minnesota Twins (Trade)
One of the more underrated names on this list, Kepler could provide the Braves with a ton of power out of the left side of the batter’s box. He posted an .816 OPS with 24 home runs for the Twins in 2023, and his price tag could be pretty reasonable.
OF Jorge Soler — Miami Marlins
Soler is still under contract with the Marlins, but after posting an .853 OPS and clubbing 36 home runs, he could exercise his opt-out and seek a bigger deal. If I’m the Braves, Soler is one of my top targets if he hits the market and there’s a spot for him.
OF Cody Bellinger — Chicago Cubs
Bellinger is another very interesting name. He’s coming off of a huge bounce-back year, so there is a bit of risk involve considering his jump in production. However, if you’re the Braves, you have to be interested in a guy who hit as well as Bellinger did in 2023. He would be another massive lefty threat in this lineup.
OF Juan Soto — San Diego Padres (Trade)
If I was a betting man, I’d say the Padres ink Soto to a massive extension to keep him in San Diego. For now, that hasn’t happened, and I’m going to talk about him. Soto is one of the best pure hitters in baseball, and his plate discipline is second to none. We’re talking about a guy with a career .421 on base percentage. He hit 35 home runs in 2023, he turns 25 years old next week, and he’s buddy-buddy with Ronald Acuña Jr. I’d give him whatever he asked for, because he would make this Braves lineup that much better.
OF Shohei Ohtani — Los Angeles Angels
Even though the betting odds suggest otherwise, I don’t think the Braves have much of a chance at signing Shohei Ohtani. However, his price tag may come down now that it isn’t a guarantee he’s going to keep pitching. Regardless, he’s one of the best talents the game has ever seen and a perennial MVP candidate. Of course he should be a target for the Braves.
Photographer: Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire