3 most difficult decisions the Braves must make before the end of spring training

The Braves have some things they will need to sort out before the start of the 2024 season.

Division Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves - Game Two
Division Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves - Game Two / Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/GettyImages
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Can the Braves get an extension done with Max Fried?

On the surface, a Max Fried extension doesn't feel like a spring training decision. Fried is not a free agent until the end of the season, so a deal could get done at any time before that, right? Well, that maybe be technically true, but the groundwork for the Braves' strategy the rest of the season is currently being laid and that is where Fried's situation gets pretty sticky.

The Braves and Fried don't have to come to terms this spring, but the possibility of Fried coming back at all will need some clarity. If it is clear that Fried is going to walk after the 2024 season as is currently expected, Atlanta is going to have to start planning for life without him including preliminary discussions on potential trade deadline moves and figuring out their long-term payroll situation.

Now if Fried and the Braves both feel like an extension is worth working towards, that could impact the types of moves the Braves make during the season. Any Fried extension would have wide reaching implications for the Braves' payroll especially when it comes to the luxury tax, so that could deter the Braves from adding more 2025 and beyond money at the deadline especially when it comes to starters.

Unfortunately, this is the one decision that we are very unlikely to learn more about even by the end of spring training. Alex Anthopoulos plays things very close to the vest when it comes to negotiations and we probably won't know if Atlanta will extend Fried until it actually happens. However, that doesn't mean that decision won't come early and we could get some clues over the course of the 2024 season with the moves the Braves make elsewhere.

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