How to spend $200M if the Atlanta Braves don't extend their ace, Max Fried

Unless the Atlanta Braves extend baseball’s best lefty starter, Max Fried, he will become a free agent after the 2024 season. If he leaves, how do the Braves fill a gaping hole in the rotation?
The Atlanta Braves have starter Max Fried under team control for one more season. If they can't extend him, how do they replace him?
The Atlanta Braves have starter Max Fried under team control for one more season. If they can't extend him, how do they replace him? / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
3 of 3
Next
Atlanta Braves, Yoshinobu Yamamoto
The Atlanta Braves and an ace to their staff by signing Yoshinobu Yamamoto. / Eric Espada/GettyImages

What’s The Catch?

Aside from every team in the country wanting him, The Athletic’s Will Sammon (Subscription Required) suggests that, regardless of the offer, he may want something only a few teams offer.

If, like Senga felt last offseason, Yamamoto covets the opportunity to play in a large market, the Braves can only suggest to Yamamoto that a team that's won every year for six years and is young enough to continue winning for years to come is a better option than one that hasn’t consistently won.

With Charlie Morton's future with Atlanta in doubt and the potential loss of Fried after 2024,
acquiring Yamamoto solves rotation issues for the Atlanta Braves now and in the future. He’s a free agent, so there’s no need to move prospects to sign him, and he doesn’t have a qualifying offer attached, so no draft picks are lost.

Make no mistake, all the usual suspects are in on Yamamoto. Brian Cashman flew to Japan to watch him pitch, as did Farhan Zaidi, and Andrew Friedman is undoubtedly considering him as well.

If he has his heart set on playing in a particular city and doesn’t mind waiting two or three years for that team to rebuild, no amount of money will change his mind. It won’t be an easy acquisition but he solves so many issues that it’s worth the Braves' time to roll up their sleeves and make a deal.