This continues a series where I will be taking a look at the Braves free agent situation for the next three years. If you missed the first part, click the link below.
Assuming Morton stays healthy and wants to keep playing, I expect the Braves to pick up his $20 million option for 2023, which will make him a free agent in 2024. Perhaps he continues his career, but I expect him to retire once he’s done with the Braves in the next two seasons.
In the last piece, I made it clear I believe the Braves will not be picking up Will Smith’s $14 million option for 2023. However, things can change. If he’s lights out this season like he was in the playoffs, the Braves might want to keep him for one more year, and he’ll be a free agent in 2024.
d’Arnaud has an $8 million option in 2024, but it comes without a buyout, so it will be easy for the Braves to move on. I would say it’s about a 50/50 chance he’s one of the Braves catchers in 2024.
Pina’s another catcher with an option for the 2024 season that comes without a buyout. He will only cost $4 million, though. So if he’s even close to as productive as d’Arnaud, the Braves will likely roll with him.
Yates has a team option for $5.75 million in 2024 with a $1.25 million buyout. I imagine this will all come down to health. When healthy, Yates has proven to be one of the best relievers in the game. However, he’s coming off Tommy John surgery and might not even pitch in 2022.
The Braves avoided arbitration with Arcia by buying out his next two seasons for a total of $2.9 million. The deal also comes with a third-year team option worth $2 million with a $100K buyout.
Heredia’s final year of arbitration is in 2023, so there’s a chance he’s not even on the Braves past next season. But regardless, he’ll be an unrestricted free agent by 2024.