3 teams that could steal Max Fried away from the Braves next offseason

Max Fried could very well become a free agent after the season, but where could he end up if that happens.

Apr 7, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Max Fried (54) receives a gold
Apr 7, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Max Fried (54) receives a gold / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
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New York Mets

If the Dodgers are the team that Braves fans would hate the most as a destination for Fried, the Mets are probably a close second. While it was thoroughly enjoyable to see the Mets' $300+ million payroll in 2023 result in a fourth place finish in the NL East, they are still going to be a threat in free agency as long as Steve Cohen is their owner and he hasn't bankrupted himself. It is fun to make fun of Cohen's spending habits, but he definitely deserves credit for putting his money where his mouth is in an era where most owners want to cut costs whenever given the opportunity.

The Mets are in a weird spot as an organization. After their disastrous 2023 season, they have seemingly pivoted at the trade deadline towards trying to build up talent in the minor leagues with the goal of sustainable success at the cost of contending in the short-term. However, that didn't stop them from pursuing Yamamoto this offseason and adding a guy like Fried next offseason would fit with their goal of contending in 2025 and beyond.

Aside from the fact that the Mets have tons of money to work with, luxury tax be damned, they also have a clear need in their rotation as well. They traded away Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer and their current rotation consists of Kodai Senga and a bunch of guys on short-term deals that they hope work out. With little help coming from the minor leagues on the pitching side, New York is going to have sign some arms if they want to compete and adding Fried would give them a huge boost.

It is possible that Fried's history with the Braves in the division could make him somewhat reluctant to sign with a hated division rival. However, it is also possible that the Mets would LOVE to both bolster their rotation and weaken the Braves at the same time. If that is the case, Fried could end up getting an offer he can't refuse.

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