With the offseason a little more than a week out, the Braves will have some decisions to make right away. Players that aren’t under contract for the 2024 season will become free agents the day after the World Series is complete. However, there’s a 5-day grace period before other teams can negotiate with a free agent that was not on the team in 2023. During these 5 days, teams also have to decide on club, player, and/or mutual options. The following 2023 Braves will be free agents or have options.
2024 Free Agents
- Eddie Rosario: Club Option
- Brad Hand: Mutual Option
- Charlie Morton: Club Option
- Collin McHugh Club Option
- Kirby Yates: Club Option
If the Braves choose to pick up Eddie Rosario’s club option, it makes sense to talk with Kevin Pillar about a return. However, I’m not sure the Braves keep Pillar around or if Pillar would even want to stick around if they go the route of an every day LFer. Rosario’s a tricky one. He had his best defensive year in a Braves uniform, collecting 3 OAA (Statcast’s defensive metric and the metric I trust the most). However, he also had HUGE stretches of non-competitive ABs. Still, the option is for $9MM and it would be hard to pass up at this point, unless the team has real plans to upgrade LF. Point being, if Braves pick up Eddie, Pillar makes sense. If the team grabs an everyday LFer, Pillar should look for employment elsewhere.
Jimenez had a good year for the team, but likely wasn’t the lights-out back end relief that AA envisioned when he traded Justyn-Henry Malloy for him (Malloy had an .891 OPS at AAA with a 21.2% BB-rate, 15.2% K-rate, and 23 dingers. He also played multiple positions….OOPS). I’m guessing AA will let Jimenez walk. From there…
- If Uncle Jesse or Uncle Charlie want to return, they’ll be back.
- Ehire Adrianza will either move on or sign another MiLB deal with the team. It’s obvious they value him in the org.
- Pierce Johnson is an interesting decision. He was, by far, the Braves best reliever down the stretch and carried a 6.4 K/BB rate. I expect AA to try re-signing him to a 2-year deal with, of course, a 3rd year club option.
- I can’t imagine the Braves will bring back McHugh after poor results and an injury scare.
- I fully expect Kirby Yates to be part of this team in 2024.
- Mutual options rarely work out, so I expect Hand to be handed his release papers.
Braves 40-Man Subtractions and Additions
When the World Series ends and all of the above happens, the Braves will have to make a decision on 9 guys that are on the 60-day IL. Those are Kolby Allard, Yonny Chirinos, Nick Anderson, Dylan Lee, Tyler Matzek, Michael Soroka, Kyle Wright, Huascar Ynoa, and Sam Hilliard. Here’s my guess:
Released (or traded): Kolby Allard, Yonny Chirinos, Nick Anderson, Michael Soroka, and Sam Hilliard
Kept: Dylan Lee, Tyler Matzek, Kyle Wright, Huascar Ynoa
With the subtracting of those 5, the above option decisions, and the likely release of fringe players like Jackson Stephens, Allan Winans, and Andrew Velazquez, the Braves will have some wiggle room for roster additions and I’m ready for the Hot Stove season.