Did Alex Anthopoulos just suggest Braves-Max Fried drama is overblown?

So far, the drama between the Braves and Max Fried is being handled in the best possible way.

Division Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves - Game Two
Division Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves - Game Two / Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/GettyImages

There has been an unusually large amount of drama recently when it comes to the Atlanta Braves' free agents. Freddie Freeman's negotiations turned into a disaster when his agents overplayed their hand and resulted in the Braves trading for Matt Olson. Many fans were hurt that Dansby Swanson left to sign with the Cubs before the 2023 season and blamed the front office for it.

However, the vast majority of this sort of drama is manufactured. Most of the time, everyone knows that baseball is a business and both sides have a lot to weigh when making decisions and sometimes things just don't work out. Sure, it is more fun to think about a player feeling slighted and coming back to Atlanta for revenge, but the truth is much less headline inspiring.

Right now, the biggest source of this sort of drama is with Max Fried and whether or not the Braves can/will keep him around for the long-term. Fried has been one of the best lefthanded pitchers in baseball the last few years and deserves to get paid, but the Braves have to think about keeping together a complete, deep roster over the next several years and the fact that Max is going to be pitching in his 30's with some recent arm troubles on his ledger.

Fortunately, sanity seems to be prevailing so far. Fried was asked about his future with the team and was extremely diplomatic about it and wanted to respect the fact that the Braves like to keep these negotiations private. Alex Anthopoulos seemed to agree recently with how Fried was handling all the speculation while acknowledging how much the team loves having him.

For Max Fried and the Braves, there is no drama...at least for now

It is honestly refreshing to see the two sides acknowledge the uncertainty of Fried's future with the team without it any mudslinging. Fried clearly loves playing for the Braves and certainly wouldn't mind staying, but knows he is set to make generational wealth with his throwing arm. Atlanta loves having Fried in their rotation, but is going to prioritize building a strong and deep roster as long as Anthopoulos is around. Neither side is wrong for the positions they are taking and everyone involved knows it.

What will be interesting to see is if this behavior holds the rest of the way. Everyone can play nice now, but fervor over Fried's impending free agency is only going to grow over the course of the season and with that comes more pressure for answers from both sides. The ideal case is that this doesn't spill into the public eye and both sides can continue to respect each other. As we found out with Freeman, though, that is far from a sure thing especially when agents get involved with big money at stake.

For now, we know one thing: both the Braves and Fried are happy with their relationship right now. The team is loaded and expects to contend for another World Series title in 2024 with Fried being a key part of those aspirations. Time will tell if that remains true beyond this coming season, though.

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