4 early offseason Braves rumors that should have fans very concerned

There are a few unsettling rumors floating around when it comes to the Braves right now.
Sep 12, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Max Fried (54) throws
Sep 12, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Max Fried (54) throws / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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No news whatsoever on a Max Fried extension

This one is a longer term problem, but could have huge ramifications for the team going forward. With the prices for starting pitchers seemingly going through the roof in recent years, Max Fried's future with the Braves is very much in question. He is set to become a free agent after the 2024 season and will be in line to get a massive payday with Carlos Rodon's deal with the Yankees being a decent starting point for discussion.

There are reasons why signing Fried to an extension right now is problematic even if Atlanta is 100% sold on doing so. If the Braves extend him now, the average AAV of his extension would start counting against the luxury tax threshold this year which would be an added cost. There is a chance that both sides already want to make it happen and they are just waiting for the right time from a budget standpoint.

However, what seems more likely is that an extension doesn't happen at all given that there has been zero evidence so far that those discussions are happening. There was a lot of discussion last offseason about keeping Fried for the long haul and while both Fried and the team said all the right things in public, it felt as though the two sides were still pretty far apart.

Fried's injury in 2023 complicates the picture even more. Not only is Fried going to want fair market value for his services especially given that he is a MLBPA rep, but he is going to be 31 when his new contract starts and he has a Tommy John surgery and now more recent arm trouble on his resume. It is no wonder that most neutral observers see the odds getting lower and lower that Fried sticks around.

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