For the moment, it does appear as though the Atlanta Braves have finished the heavy lifting that they needed to do this offseason. It has taken a slew of moves that culled the 40 man roster and moved pieces around, but the Braves ultimately came away with the roster upgrades they needed in left field, the bullpen, and the starting rotation albeit in unexpected ways.
There is still room on the 40 man roster and Alex Anthopoulos could easily pull off another magic trick, but the trade for Chris Sale does feel like the last box the Braves needed to check entering the 2024 season. Anything that happens the rest of the way is just going to be icing on the cake. The only question now is how these moves will shake out and whether or not they were enough to put the Braves over the top.
With that in mind, here is a look at some bold predictions for the Braves for the 2024 now that we know, generally speaking, what the roster is going to look like.
Ronald Acuna Jr. will go at least 40/50 next season
It is wild that this prediction doesn't feel all that bold, but that speaks more to how insane Ronald Acuna Jr. is as a baseball player. Last season, Acuna Jr. didn't just join the already very exclusive 40/40 club, he created clubs of his own when he finished with 41 homers and 73 stolen bases. Those are video game numbers, full stop.
No player in baseball history has more than one 40/40 season. Alfonso Soriano, Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds, Jose Canseco, and Acuna Jr. all pulled the trick off once and Ronnie, Soriano, and Bonds all have some close calls for a second one. We are in rarified air with this, but you will still struggle to find anyone that is willing to bet against Ronald pulling 40/40 off again next year.
So, we will go a step further. It is probably safe to assume that teams will be a little more diligent in trying to keep Ronald from running wild again, so 70+ stolen bases again will be tough. However, teams are not going to be able completely contain him on the base paths and 40 homers seems very doable, so we'll guess that he "just" goes 40/50 in 2024 and continues to rewrite the history books.