3 regrets the Braves should already have about the 2023-24 offseason

The Braves have been busy this offseason, but there have already been some missed opportunites.
Division Series - Houston Astros v Minnesota Twins - Game Three
Division Series - Houston Astros v Minnesota Twins - Game Three / Adam Bettcher/GettyImages
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The Braves are going to regret not making more money available for this offseason

This is just a general regret, but an important one to consider. With the Braves decided to exercise Charlie Morton's $20 million option, it basically took the vast majority of the Braves' financial flexibility away if they care at all about the luxury tax. In actual dollars, the Braves aren't doing too badly for 2024, but the luxury tax implications of all of these extensions to young guys meant that the Braves 2024 payroll is well into the luxury tax penalty already and that is without addressing the team's primary offseason need in the rotation.

This could have been avoided. Sure, not exercising Morton's option just would have created another hole in the rotation, but would have also probably allowed the Braves to be bigger players at the top of the free agent market and, presumably, would have led to that rotation spot getting an upgrade that would have been around for a few seasons at least. Instead, Atlanta just has to hope that Charlie has one more healthy, productive season in him and that they don't regret being hamstrung by payroll during one of the better free agent starter classes we have seen in a long time.

The good news is that the Braves will have plenty of money after the 2024 season, although the market is much thinner next offseason. Juan Soto is going to be the ultimate prize unless the Yankees get him to sign an extension, but the Braves' interest level there is going to depend on how Kelenic pans out and there is the Scott Boras Factor to consider with Soto even if the Braves might still need a left fielder going into next offseason.

Hopefully things all work out. The Braves still could make a trade for a starter like Dylan Cease or Shane Bieber or end up with one of the remaining free agent arms. If that comes to pass, Atlanta's financial flexibility next offseason, especially if they decline Marcell Ozuna's club option. could make re-signing Max Fried or even pursuing Zack Wheeler more feasible assuming both guys stay healthy and are awesome again next season. If not, not being willing/able to strike this offseason is going to feel that much worse.

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