I recently did a piece highlighting three Braves that could be next up for one of Alex Anthopoulos’ patented contract extensions. So, I thought it would be a fun exercise to do a three-part series on each one of the candidates, coming up with what their contract extensions might look like. Some of these are more likely than others. Personally, I think it’s a long shot that the Braves extend Max Fried, given how they have handled Freddie Freeman and Dansby Swanson. But if they did, what might it look like?
Max Fried Contract Extension
Fried still has two arbitration years remaining. He’s projected to earn north of $12 million in 2023, and that number will probably balloon to around $20 million in 2024. So currently, he has about $32 million remaining on his contract.
If Fried were to commit to an extension this offseason, I have to think he would be looking to add at least 6-7 years onto his contract. For argument’s sake, let’s say it’s six. So we’re talking about an eight-year deal that will take him through his age-36 season. That’s not something the Braves will likely do, but I don’t think the ball gets rolling unless they are willing to go that long.
I think a good comparison for Fried’s contract will be Carlos Rodon. I actually wrote this article before Rodon was signed, but he inked a six-year, $162 million contract with the Yankees, which makes this piece a lot more on point. They have a similar track record and will be the same age when they are on the market.
With Rodon’s contract in mind, we can project what Fried’s contract extension might look like — an eight or nine-year deal at $25 million AAV. That’s a slightly lower AAV than Rodon, but that makes sense, given the Braves will be buying out the remaining years of his arbitration. Will Alex Anthopoulos go that far? We haven’t seen it yet, but perhaps he makes an exception for the Ace of Atlanta’s pitching staff.
Contract Extension Prediction: 8 years, $199 million
Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswear
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