The Atlanta Braves have most of their essential offensive pieces locked up for the foreseeable future. Below is a rundown and it's really wonderful to see it laid out. Enjoy!
Obviously, the Braves have one spot that is remotely a question mark. They have a very affordable option to pick up on Eddie Rosario for next season.
Free Agent Year
Ronald Acuna Jr.
Michael Harris II
$9M Team Option in 2024
Cody Bellinger Will be Overpaid
Rumor has it that Scott Boras is going to have a huge price tag on Cody Bellinger. Boras explained that he's a five-tool player, he's young, and his poor performance in 2021 was due to a shoulder injury.
"He probably shouldn’t have played in 2021."- Scott Boras, NY Post (linked above)
Perhaps. However, Bellinger was bad for three straight seasons prior to 2023. In 2017, Bellinger won the Rookie of the Year, blasting 39 homers with a .933 OPS. The next year his OBP was fairly steady but his power dropped, although it was still solid. In 2017, he slugged .581. In 2018, he slugged .470 with 25 homers while playing in 30 more games.
In 2019, he won the MVP, hitting .305 with a 1.035 OPS. He smashed 47 homers, walked 95 times, and even had 21 intentional walks!
The three years that followed are very concerning if you are committing a lot of money over a long period of time. Between 2020-2022, Bellinger slashed .203/.272/.376. That's an OPS+ of 76. After the 2022 season, the Dodgers released the 27-year-old former MVP.
He signed a one-year prove-it deal with the Cubs in 2023 and proved it he has. Bellinger has a .318 average with a .912 OPS. He's got 25 homers, 24 doubles, and 20 steals in 113 games.
If Bellinger can finish the season with a .900+ OPS, Scott Boras will make sure you know that Mookie Betts entered free agency with the same feat on his resume. Mookie went on to get 12 years, and $365 million.
Three takeaways here.
1. Scott Boras
2. 3 Seasons of .900 OPS before free agency, like Mookie.
3. He's 28 years old, as pointed out by Scott Boras.
Bellinger is getting paid in a big way this offseason. Scott Boras will not allow him to opt in to the $12.5 million mutual option. He's gonna get his money.