4 free agents the Braves need to try to sign this offseason, 2 they need to avoid

The upcoming offseason is going to be very important for the Atlanta Braves and it looks like they have some good options available to them.

Nov 5, 2021; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves outfielder Jorge Soler holds up the MVP trophy during
Nov 5, 2021; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves outfielder Jorge Soler holds up the MVP trophy during / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
2 of 3

The Braves need to avoid Michael Brantley

On the surface, Michael Brantley seems like the kind of guy the Braves would target. Brantley is likely to command a short-term deal, has a track record of production, and is the sort of reclamation project that the Braves seem to like trying to take on. It wasn't that long ago that Brantley was one of the better all-around hitters in baseball and that is certainly something to dream on.

However, the reality is that Brantley cannot stay healthy and even when he was playing this year, he wasn't particularly good with a .701 OPS in 44 plate appearances this season. Being a lefty bat is also a little problematic as the Braves already have Eddie Rosario available to them on a pretty cheap $9 million club option for next year. Brantley could end up being both good and healthy next season, but the Braves' shouldn't bet on that happening.

Bringing back Jorge Soler isn't the worst idea

Everyone loves a reunion with a fan favorite and the Braves could do a lot worse than bringing back Jorge Soler. Soler has been pretty much the same guy with the Marlins that he was with the Braves as he has 36 homers this season for Miami. Is he a perfect hitter? Absolutely not, but he is still a very dangerous hitter especially when he is on one of his tears.

There are a couple issues with this plan, though. One, he has to opt out of $9 million from the Marlins in order to hit free agency which means he is going to want real money. Given that he is somewhat one-dimensional and the Braves will likely also be trying to give playing time to Marcell Ozuna and Eddie Rosario next season, Soler may not be the best fit. However, if the Braves' goal is to just assemble the best roster possible and figure out playing time later, Soler should be on their radar assuming Jorge isn't too unreasonable with his contract demands.

The Braves should make a play for Sonny Gray

At the top of most fans' wish list for this offseason is for the Braves to address their starting pitching. Sure, the Braves have several young pitchers that could push for opportunities in 2024, Atlanta needs some certainty in their rotation and one option that could be exciting is if the Braves decide to make a push for Sonny Gray.

For starters, Gray has been awesome for a few years now and is among the favorites to win the Cy Young in the American League in 2023 with a 2.80 ERA in 180 innings this season. He also has shown a willingness to take shorter term deals which is right up the Braves' alley. However, the biggest problem may be that Gray has flirted with idea of retiring soon despite being just 33, although the chance to play for a World Series frontrunner might make him feel better about playing a bit longer.