After following up their underdog 2021 Cinderella World Sequence win with an improved 101-win season, the Braves have been eradicated from the 2022 postseason by the Phillies. With their 2022 season within the rearview mirror, Common Supervisor Alex Anthopoulos might be exhausting at work bettering the already spectacular Braves core.
Maybe crucial query going through the Braves as they head into the offseason is their gap at shortstop. Atlanta native Dansby Swanson has been the Braves’ beginning shortstop since 2016, and might be a free agent for the primary this offseason after receiving a $10MM wage throughout his ultimate journey by means of the arbitration course of. Jon Heyman of The New York Put up reported that the Braves had opened extension talks with Swanson in mid-August, however there has but to be a tangible consequence.
Swanson, who’s coming off his fourth consecutive robust season, slashed .277/.329/.447 whereas posting the very best Outs Above Common (20) amongst certified shortstops en path to his first All-Star look. He joins Trea Turner, and, in the event that they train their opt-outs, Carlos Correa and Xander Bogaerts as the highest choices at quick.
When requested about his ideas on free company and probably leaving the Braves, Swanson responded that free company is “the very last thing on my thoughts,” per Mark Bowman of MLB.com. Nevertheless, Anthopoulos confirmed in a press convention earlier in the present day that there’s mutual curiosity in getting a deal carried out, however he didn’t present particular figures, per Justin Toscano of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The Braves, who’ve develop into infamous in current seasons for signing gamers within the early stage of their profession to ‘team-friendly’ contracts (Ronald Acuna, Ozzie Albies, Michael Harris II, Spencer Strider, Austin Riley), at present have roughly $186MM dedicated to the 2023 season, not factoring in arbitration, per Roster Useful resource. Nevertheless, out of arbitration-eligible gamers, solely starter Max Fried is predicted to considerably impression the Braves’ payroll, with different arbitration-eligible gamers anticipated to earn beneath $3MM if they’re tendered contracts.
Importantly, within the 2021 offseason, the Braves reportedly provided long-time first baseman Freddie Freeman a five-year contract within the $135MM-$140MM vary. When talks stalled, the Braves moved to amass Matt Olson from the Athletics, signing him to an eight-year, $168MM contract. Freeman then went on to signal with the Dodgers on a six-year, $162MM contract.
The Braves, probably, have already got Swanson’s alternative in Vaughn Grissom, who posted a robust .291/.353/.440 line in 151 at-bats after being known as up in mid-August. Grissom has primarily performed second in his temporary Main League profession however got here up by means of the Minors as a shortstop. If Swanson is re-signed, Grissom could also be pressured to transition to the outfield or work as a utility participant with Riley and Albies patrolling the infield.
Transitioning to the mound, starter Charlie Morton was pressured to exit yesterday’s sport within the third inning after taking a line drive to his pitching elbow. Morton initially stayed within the sport and accomplished the inning however was pulled by supervisor Brian Snitker after Snitker watched Morton heat up previous to the third inning. Throughout an in-game interview, Snitker introduced that x-rays confirmed no structural harm in Morton’s elbow, and that Morton wished to try to proceed to pitch, per Mike Axisa of CBS.
Morton had pitched two innings previous to leaving the sport, giving up 4 hits and three runs, all on a Brandon Marsh homer. Morton, who turns 39 in November was a gentle power within the Braves’ rotation, pitching to a 4.34 ERA in 172 innings (31 begins) with a robust 28.2% strikeout price. His robust efficiency led to a one-year, $20MM contract extension for the 2023 season, with a $20MM membership choice for the 2024 marketing campaign.
Reliever Kenley Jansen is coming into free company, however Anthopoulos has made it clear that the Braves would “like to have him again,” per Toscano. After leaving the Dodgers in free company to hitch the Braves on a one-year, $16MM contract, Jansen led the Nationwide League in saves with 41, posting a 3.38 ERA in 64 innings with a lofty 32.7% strikeout price. Nevertheless, Jansen’s HardHit proportion spiked from 26.1% in 2021 to 32.5% in 2022, and his floor ball price dropped from 37.3% to 29.1%, the second-lowest mark of his profession.
If the Braves and Jansen are unable to return to an settlement, they probably have his successor in Raisel Iglesias who was acquired on the 2022 commerce deadline in change for pitching prospect Tucker Davidson and Jesse Chavez. Since becoming a member of Atlanta, Iglesias has allowed just one run in 26 1/3 innings, leading to a minuscule 0.32 ERA. These robust numbers are backed by a excessive 30.0% strikeout price, a low 5.0% stroll price, and a stable 40.6% floor ball price.