The Braves have some shopping to do this offseason, especially in the pitching category. However, there might not be a lot of $ to go to free agents if all the options are picked up. In today’s piece, we will look at the Braves projected payroll of 2024, utilize 2023 as the bar, and discuss the funds that AA has to work with to fill out a high quality roster.

Braves Guaranteed Contracts

  1. Matt Olson: $22MM
  2. Austin Riley: $22MM
  3. Marcell Ozuna: $18MM
  4. Ronald Acuna Jr: $17MM
  5. Raisel Iglesias: $16MM
  6. Sean Murphy: $9MM
  7. Travis D’Arnaud: $8MM
  8. Ozzie Albies: $7MM
  9. Michael Harris II: $5MM
  10. Orlando Arica: $2MM
  11. Tyler Matzek: $1.9MM
  12. Spencer Strider: $1MM

Total: $128.MM for 12 players

Breakdown: Out of this group, the only questionable contract is likely Marcell Ozuna. If the Braves want to, they could move on from his $18MM and gain a whole lot more flexibility out of their DH.

Braves Arbitration Estimates

  1. A.J. Minter $6.5MM
  2. Max Fried $14.4MM
  3. Yonny Chirinos $2MM
  4. Michael Soroka $3MM
  5. Nick Anderson $1.6MM
  6. Nicky Lopez $3.9MM
  7. Kolby Allard $1MM
  8. Ben Heller $900K
  9. Sam Hilliard $1.1MM
  10. Michael Tonkin $1MM
  11. Kyle Wright $1.4MM
  12. Andrew Velazquez $740K
  13. Huascar Ynoa $1MM

Breakdown: Of this list, I have a hard time believing that Chirinos, Soroka, Allard, Heller, Hilliard, and Velazquez will be part of the team in 2024 (most of those are out of options), so I’m subtracting that $ and factoring them off of the final total. And while I won’t change the $, I do believe that the Braves will work out a different deal with Nicky Lopez and sign him to a multi-year deal, something like 3/$10MM with, of course, a player option. I also have a feeling that the Braves will at least float the idea that Max Fried is available, assuming they’re ok grabbing a stud on the trade and/or free agent market. However, unlike the above, I will not take his salary out of the equation.

Subtotal: $29.8MM for (7) Minter, Fried, Anderson, Lopez, Tonkin, Wright, and Ynoa.

Total: $157.8MM for 19 players

Braves Players w/ Club Options

  1. Charle Morton: $20MM
  2. Eddie Rosario: $9MM
  3. Brad Hand: $7MM
  4. Kirby Yates: $5.75MM
  5. Collin McHugh: $6MM

Breakdown: I’m guessing McHugh and Hand will be let loose, Yates will be picked up, but the other 2 are difficult. Morton will be back if he chooses, but Eddie was barely worth his contract last year and the Braves don’t have any other offensive position in need of an upgrade outside of LF. My guess is they let Eddie walk. Still, the total for this group ranges wildly, but we will know the results pretty soon.

My final guess, for now: Morton and Yates are here. The other 3 are gone.

Subtotal (after buyouts): $27.25MM

Total: $185.05MM for 21 Players

Braves Pre-Arb Players

There’s a slew of player that are pre-arb eligible and their estimated salaries each for 2024 will be $750K. I’m sure the Braves will add and subtract to this mix as they always do. Still, it’s good practice to add at least 3 players making the minimum, so that’s what I’ll do.

Subtotal: $2.25MM for 3 players

Total: $187.3 MM for 24 players

Estimated Total for Entire 40-Man: ~$190MM