Pitching will be addressed
The first big decision Anthopoulos is faced with this offseason is the choice of Charlie Morton's $20 million option. As of now we know Fried and Strider are locks for the rotation. However, this is Fried’s last year before hitting free agency so finding a reliable rotation piece for years to come is a need for Atlanta. Anthopolous praised Charlie’s talent and how great of a teammate he is, so it sounds like they want him back. Ultimately, it may come down to if Charlie wants to continue pitching at all.
Elder took steps this past season, but I don’t think we ever reach a world where the Braves feel comfortable starting him in a playoff game again. Sadly, Kyle Wright is out all of next season after his recent shoulder surgery. Smith-Shawver and 2023 first round pick, Hurston Waldrep could be inserted in at some point next year, but the Braves can’t rely on that.
As for the bullpen, we’ve long known Alex Anthopoulos firmly believes in investing into that. He already brought back righty Pierce Johnson on a two-year deal, and he certainly isn’t going to stop there. Joe Jimenez is a free agent and Kirby Yates has an option that Atlanta has to decide on. Johnson, Minter, and Iglesias make a sound unit in the backend, but don’t be shocked when Alex adds some more talent to help out.
Orlando Arcia has earned the starting shortstop job
Heading into last spring the Braves had a position battle at shortstop after Dansby Swanson left for the Cubbies in free agency. In the end it was veteran Orlando Arcia who won the job thanks to his reliable defense. All Arcia went out and did in 2023 was slash .264/.321/.420 while providing plus defense at shortstop.
However, given the cold streak Arcia experienced at the plate in the second half and into the postseason, some questioned if that spot could be upgraded this offseason. Anthopoulos quickly shot that idea down when he told reporters that Arcia proved himself last year and has earned that spot. And when you look at the free agency shortstop crop, you can see why AA has no intention of making a move there.