The offseason is winding down and it is a telltale sign that baseball is returning soon when teams start having their various fan celebrations ahead of the season. For the Atlanta Braves, that happens to be occurring this weekend with Braves Fest currently underway despite some crummy weather rolling through. While Braves Fest is mostly about fans getting to meet players and have a good time, we did get a bit of news out of the festivities concerning Max Fried's future with the Braves.
At the event, Fried was asked about his future in Atlanta given that he is about to begin his last year under contract. The subject of extending Max Fried has been a hot one for a couple years now and it is safe to say that his answer didn't inspire a ton of confidence that we will see a deal get done before the end of the season.
Max Fried's comments about an extension sound an awful lot like Freddie Freeman
Getting an extension done with Fried was always going to be a tall order. Fried has been one of the best pitchers in baseball the last few years most certainly, but he is also a pitcher that has Tommy John surgery on his ledger and missed an extended period of time last year with elbow troubles. For the Braves, they should want to protect themselves in the event that he falls off, but Fried has to be looking at the contracts handed out to Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Aaron Nola, and Carlos Rodon and thinking that he should be paid like those guys.
What is most concerning, though, is when he said that the situation was out of his control. Does that sound familiar? It should because it sounds a lot like what Freddie Freeman said and did when talk about his potential extension came up. Freddie was similarly detached from the process and was adamant that he wanted to keep any and all discussions private between he and the Braves.
The end result? Freddie's agents overplayed their hand in negotiations with Anthopoulos and AA went out and traded for Matt Olson. Freddie fired his agents over the debacle, but that didn't change the fact that he ended up with the Dodgers instead of the team that drafted and developed him and where he became one of the best hitters in baseball.
Hopefully that isn't what happens here. It is understandable that Fried doesn't want to litigate things in the public sphere and it was nice to hear that he loves playing in Atlanta. That love can only extend so far and if Fried really wants to stay, he is going to have to be more involved in the process than Freddie was. At the end of the day, the situation IS in Fried's hands whether he wants to admit it or not.