Buy or Sell: Braves upcoming players with options

MLB: AUG 22 Mets at Braves

The Braves have five players with club options heading into the offseason. Within five days of the World Series ending, decisions must be made about whether they will be retained. In this piece, we’ll play a little game of buy or sell, determining which players they will keep and which they will let test free agency.

Charlie Morton

$20 million option, no buyout

This one may not be up to the Braves. The 39-year-old Morton is probably somewhere on the beach mulling the idea of retirement, but for the sake of things, let’s assume he decides to play another year. If that’s the case, I think the Braves pick up his option. They aren’t going to find better value in free agency, and Morton is also incredible to have around the clubhouse, particularly for the younger arms. The Braves have too many questions surrounding their rotation to let Morton test free agency if he wants to continue playing.

Buy or Sell: Buy

Eddie Rosario

$9 million option, no buyout

I think it’s about a 50/50 chance that Rosario will be on the Braves roster next season. However, the odds are probably much higher that they decide to pick up his option. The reason being is $9 million for a player of Rosario’s caliber is a fair price, perhaps even a bargain. Even if the Braves did want to find more stability in left field, they would still probably be better off picking up Rosario’s option and trading him to recoup an asset in return.

Buy or Sell: Buy

Collin McHugh

$6 million option, $1 million buyout

This one isn’t as cut and dry as some might believe. McHugh was piss poor this year, which resulted in him being left off the postseason roster. However, he has a track record of being one of the league’s most elite relievers. His age is a concern, as he’s set to turn 37 next season, but if the Braves believe he has the stuff to bounce back in 2024, bringing him back for $6 million could be in the cards. With that being said, I have the Braves letting McHugh hit free agency this offseason.

Buy or Sell: Sell

Kirby Yates

$5.75 million, $1.25 million buyout

Yates’ walks were a concern in 2023, as he walked 5.5 batters per nine innings. That’s not a recipe for sustained success, but he still somehow pitched to a 7-2 record with a 3.28 ERA in 61 appearances, thanks to an 11.9 K/9. This was Yates first full season after Tommy John surgery. There should be an expectation that he can cut his walk numbers down next year and be even better. I see the Braves retaining him for the 2024 season.

Buy or Sell: Buy

Brad Hand

$7 million option, $500k buyout

This is the easiest decision of the bunch. Hand was once one of the league’s elite relievers, but those days are well in the rearview mirror. At this point, he’s best used as a lefty specialist. That’s not worth $7 million. He’ll be a free agent this offseason.

Buy or Sell: Sell

Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire




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