3 Braves players that could earn contract extensions by the end of 2024

While the Braves have locked up a lot of their guys, there are a few that could play their way into their own extensions.

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Hurston Waldrep

Finally, we come to the only player on this list who hasn't yet made his major league debut yet in Hurston Waldrep. The Braves were shocked that Waldrep was available to them at the 24th pick in last year's draft. They happily snatched him up and he quickly made his mark by shooting through the minor leagues all the way to Triple-A while posting a 1.53 ERA and 41 strikeouts in 29.1 innings of work in his first season as a pro.

Thanks to Waldrep's performance and tantalizing stuff including a truly unfair splitter, Waldrep all of a sudden finds himself in the mix to make his big league debut in 2024. Waldrep got invited to big league camp this spring and it is likely that he will open even more eyes once he is seen in games. It is only a question of when he will make his big league debut, not if.

There are some issues here, though. One, while pre-debut extensions are more in vogue than they used to be with guys like Colt Keith (Tigers), Jackson Chourio (Brewers), and Luis Robert Jr. (White Sox) all being recent examples, Atlanta typically waits until players have some big league playing time under their belts before locking them up. Second, Waldrep is a pitcher which is an inherently more risky extension to give out which is why the only significant extension the Braves have given to an arm was to Spencer Strider.

However, if Waldrep does make his MLB debut in 2024 and he shoves on the mound, the Braves may be wise to give him an extension offer. With Max Fried's future with the team in question and Charlie Morton's career winding down, Atlanta could use some future certainty in their starting rotation and Waldrep has a chance to be a special arm if he can keep his command under control. Such a move could easily backfire especially if Waldrep gets hurt, but he may prove to be worth the risk.

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