3 players the Braves could regret paying as much as they are in 2024

Not every contract the Braves have on the books right now look particularly good.

Division Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves - Game Two
Division Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves - Game Two / Elsa/GettyImages
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The Atlanta Braves have cultivated a well-earned reputation of locking up their players on deals that range from very reasonable to extraordinarily team-friendly. Ozzie Albies' bargain of a contract remains one of the gold standards for team-friendly deals and Ronald Acuna Jr., Michael Harris II, Spencer Strider, and others have all also signed for terms beneficial to the Braves.

However, not every deal the Braves have on the books is a slam dunk. Austin Riley could probably get significantly more on the open market, but the Braves did still have to fork over a $212 million extension to lock him up. Matt Olson is in a similar boat as his eight year, $168 million extension is a lot of money despite represented a bit of a discount. Whenever any player gets $20+ million guaranteed for the better part of a decade, the team is at least taking on a good bit a risk regardless of what the free agent market looks like.

Then we come to the deals that may end up looking down right bad by the end of the 2024 season. The circumstances behind all of these deals are slightly different and none of them are locks to actually be mistakes. In fact, all three of these guys could even outperform how much they are getting paid this year. However, these three Braves players represent the group that carries the most risk to crater this coming season who are also making eight figures for 2024. Let's take a look at the contracts that Atlanta may come to regret by the end of the 2024 season.

Charlie Morton

Charlie Morton has continued to defy conventional wisdom for years now. Most starting pitchers decline significantly in their late 30's, but Morton has flourished since 2017 when he saw a big jump in the quality of his stuff and all of a sudden, the strikeouts came rolling in during his time with the Astros.

Morton rejoined the Braves for the 2021 season and there was a certain amount of skepticism as to how much longer he could keep this up. However, he has been fantastic with a 3.77 ERA across 94 starts and 521 innings of work. The Braves and Morton have taken a year by year approach to him coming back, but it is hard to argue with the results despite the $20 million a year Atlanta has been paying him.

However, the Braves exercising Morton's option for the 2024 season comes with some problems. Agreeing to pay Morton $20 million this season not only has had downstream ramifications for the moves the Braves could or could not make due to their luxury tax situation, but it also could be very risky. Morton is 40 years old now and he has dealt with some weird injuries over the last few years.

While the surface level numbers last year were fine, his command has been faltering, he is giving up more home runs, and he is struggling to keep the ball on the ground. Chances are that he will find a way to make it work again if history is any indication, but it wouldn't take much of a drop-off to make $20 million look like a bad deal.