Max Fried holds no arbitration grudges, but his future with the Braves is unclear
Atlanta Braves ace hurler Max Fried became the subject of disturbing offseason trade rumblings a couple of months ago. It seemed preposterous that Fried would be on the market as the Braves prepare for a sixth-consecutive N.L. East division title. However, we know Fried is likely to command way more than the Braves are willing to pay him once he hits free agency after the 2024 season. Many are hopeful that Fried will sign a long-term extension so we don't lose another homegrown hero, but alas, you must prepare for pain.
I wrote about why the Braves should definitely not be entertaining trade notions regarding Fried this past offseason. In that article I chronicled how Fried has been one of the games truly elite starting pitchers over the past few years. Click here to see some of the crazy stats he has posted.
I won't re-hash all the stats. We all know how good Mad Max is. We know he's going to command top dollar in free agency. Heck, he just tied Gerrit Cole's record for most money ever awarded to a player in an arbitration hearing.
The Braves have proven that they are too smart to tie the franchise to one long-term contract that runs deep into a player's 30s. We can review the list of players we recently missed out on as a result, but it's still too painful. It's like when you get a really deep cut and you should probably just leave it alone until it heals, but you can't help taking the bandage off and looking deep inside your own body... squishing the open wound around and seeing how things work in there... Like that, right?
Breaking Down Max Fried's Recent Comments About Extension Talks
Justin Toscano tweeted a quote from Fried in which he discussed his relationship with the team and the prospect of extension talks being placed on the table. Read below.
Now, this quote spurred some positive articles and comments. I saw articles that used words like "Optimistic" in the title... Come on.
You know it, I know it, Alex Anthopoulos knows it, Freddie Freeman knows it, Dansby Swanson knows it, and Max Fried knows it. The Braves are not going to pay Max Fried what he's worth on the open market. He needs to go get his money! He gonna get his money! Just not from the Braves.
So, allow me to squash the positivity by interpreting some of the language from his tweet.
""I've really loved my time here.""- Max Fried
Loved? It's not over, is it? We still have the next two years (assuming the Braves don't trade him next offseason). Why would he say LOVED in the past-tense like that? It's because the writing is on the wall. Max knows the end of his time in Atlanta is scheduled. He loved his time here... because that story is almost finished.
""If that comes to the table, then that will be something we think about." "- Same Guy
He is even excited to be approached by the Braves with an extension offer. Why? Because he knows it's going to be WAY below what his market value is, it's how we do things. I'm not knocking it, we all know it. It's smart. But Fried knows... it ain't happening.
We will think about it? It's like when my kids ask for something at the store that I KNOW I am not going to buy them.
""Behave the rest of the day and I'll THINK about it." "- Me at the store lying to my children.
Am I being too realistic? Pessimistic? Optimistic? Do you think it is actually a possibility for Fried to sign an extension with the Braves? Let us know in the comments below.
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