Which Atlanta Braves players are set to become free agents after the 2022 Season?

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - OCTOBER 11: Dansby Swanson #7 of the Atlanta Braves reacts after a hit against the Philadelphia Phillies during the ninth inning in game one of the National League Division Series at Truist Park on October 11, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Adam Hagy/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GEORGIA - OCTOBER 11: Dansby Swanson #7 of the Atlanta Braves reacts after a hit against the Philadelphia Phillies during the ninth inning in game one of the National League Division Series at Truist Park on October 11, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Adam Hagy/Getty Images) /

As of this writing, the World Series is tied at two games a piece after a thrilling no-hitter from the Astros, so we have at least a couple more games before we get to see what the Atlanta Braves plan on doing this offseason. Once the World Series is completed, all players with expiring contracts become free agents, but they cannot start signing with new teams until five days after the World Series ends. During that window is when a player’s current team can extend a qualifying offer to that player, if they plan to, which is a pricey $19.65 million this offseason. An explanation of how the qualifying offer system works can be found here. After QOs have been accepted or rejected and the five days are up, the free agency bonanza begins.

Which Atlanta Braves players are hitting the free agent market?

The Braves are pretty fortunate in that they have done a fantastic job of signing players to extensions that can often be described as “team friendly” while also extending their competitive window and giving them some cost certainty with their budget. As our own Fred Owens noted recently, that doesn’t mean that the Braves have money to burn, but they should have some flexibility to make some moves. That also means they don’t have a ton of free agents this year, although there are certainly a couple holes to fill.

How many of those moves will be bringing back players that are set to become free agents this offseason is a big question with one player’s future, Dansby Swanson, being the key question of the entire offseason. Below, you will find a list of the Braves’ free agents this offseason with notes on the key names.

Dansby Swanson

This is the big question of the Braves’ offseason: is Dansby Swanson coming back and, if not, what are the Braves going to do at shortstop? We noted in our Braves news rundown this morning that The Athletic’s Keith Law thinks that Dansby should try to command an at least six year deal worth around $30 million a year. That feels rich for a potential Dansby deal, but $25 million a year does not seem like a stretch. He is certainly going to receive the qualifying offer and reject it, but I am slightly leaning on him returning to the Braves nonetheless. The Braves are contending, need a high quality shortstop, and it just makes too much sense for the sides to come to some sort of agreement assuming that the monetary demands aren’t too far apart. It wouldn’t be shocking to see him leave, but a return makes a ton of sense for both sides.

Kenley Jansen

The Braves surprised basically everyone when they signed Kenley before the 2022 season. While he was certainly not cheap with a $16 million one year deal, the Braves largely got what they needed out of him this season. Sure, the second half of the season was more of an adventure at times than it needed to be, but he was very good during some key series late that allowed the Braves to win another NL East title. It sounds like the Braves would love to have him back, but there are some headwinds for that plan. He will not be cheap, the Braves now have Raisel Iglesias in the fold after acquiring him at the trade deadline, Kenley is 35 and looked like a guy at the tail end of his career during stretches in the second half of the season, and the Braves may just think that kind of money would be better spent elsewhere. Our guess is that he leaves, but that is not a sure thing.

Adam Duvall

This is a tough one because the Braves’ left field situation is spotty at best. No one was enjoying seeing Marcell Ozuna and Eddie Rosario roaming around out there in 2022. However, both of those players are still under contract, so it remains to be seen as to whether or not the Braves can/will move on from them. Duvall’s injury shouldn’t be a long-term concern, but he made north of $9 million last year in his last season of arbitration and he isn’t going to be signing at close to the league minimum or anything like that this offseason. Ideally, the Braves are able to move Marcell Ozuna and get some of his contract paid down which, in that scenario, it would make a ton of sense to bring back Duvall. As things stands right now, its a tough fit with the Braves’ current commitments.

Jake Odorizzi

I know, I know….Odorizzi isn’t technically a free agent as he has a player option with a significant buyout. That said, Odorizzi’s time with the Braves did not go well and its hard to envision a scenario where he is in the Braves rotation next year. Our bet is that Odorizzi and the Braves come to an agreement, they buy out his contract, and then he heads into free agency as a cheap rotation option for another team.

Luke Jackson

Luke kind of gets forgotten these days, but he has been a very solid bullpen piece for the Braves. Unfortunately, his 2022 season was a lost one as he had to undergo Tommy John surgery before things got going. He is far from a perfect pitcher, but he has a lot of value as a righty in the bullpen and there are the intangible “vibes” he brings to the clubhouse. The Braves re-signing him may be contingent on the expected timeline for his return, but our guess is that he returns on a relatively inexpensive deal.

Robbie Grossman

Grossman was a fun story at times as it looked like the Braves had figured out something with his swing that was going to turn him into another one of those “diamond in the rough at the trade deadline” acquisitions that Alex Anthopoulos is known to pull off. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to find consistent success with the Braves despite some key swings. It looks like that he is headed for free agency.

Jesse Chavez

The ever stylish Jesse Chavez is always a fun story and he has performed well as a Brave, although he can’t seem to anywhere else. At some point, Father Time is going to catch up with him, but a betting man would probably bet on him returning to the Braves in 2023…and that is even if he signs somewhere else as a free agent as he always seems to find his way back.

Ehire Adrianza

Ehire is a capable enough bench utility option, but the Braves seem to prefer Orlando Arcia in that role and he is under team control through the 2024 season. With Ozzie Albies expected to be back and fully healthy next year, it looks like Ehire is headed for free agency.

Darren O’Day

Darren missed most of the season with a calf injury, has dealt with injuries off and on the last few years, and is 40 years old. It does not seem likely he will return to the Braves next year and at some point, retirement has to be on the table.

Other Braves free agents

Alex Dickerson

Ryan Goins

Jesus Cruz

Travis Demeritte

So that is who the Braves have heading to free agency this winter. Who do you think is coming back to Atlanta for 2023 and who do you think is headed elsewhere this offseason? Let us know in the comments and stay tuned, but free agency is right around the corner.

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