In their fourth consecutive season among the priorities of the National League East, the Braves lastly put aside their postseason demons to earn the World Series. If it weren’t for the ring, nonetheless, this would be the most uncertain offseason the Braves have faced in some time. This year’s crew had the lowest winning percentage of any of their four East title crews, and it’s hard not had indicated that these Braves benefited from a shaky subdivision in 2021. They capitalise, they partied, and they paraded, but now it’s time to pack up the balloons and streamers and look ahead to some difficult offseason decisions.

Guaranteed Contracts

Charlie Morton, SP: $20 MM in 2022( includes $20 MM club option for 2023 with no buyout) Marcell Ozuna OF: $53 MM through 2024( includes$ 1MM buyout on $16 MM club option for 2025) Will Smith, RP: $14 MM in 2022( includes$ 1MM buyout on $13 MM club option for 2023) Ronald Acuna Jr ., OF: $93 MM through 2026( includes $10 MM buyout on $17 MM club option for 2027, team also harbours a $17 MM option for 2028) Travis d’Arnaud, C: $16 MM through 2023( includes$ 8MM club option for 2024 with no buyout) Ozzie Albies, 2B: $26 MM through 2025( includes$ 4MM buyout on$ 7MM club option in 2026, team also supports$ 7MM club option for 2027)

Arbitration-Eligible Players( projections from MLBTR writer Matt Swartz)

Dansby Swanson, SS: $10.1 MM Adam Duvall, OF: $9.1 MM Max Fried, SP: $7.1 MM Austin Riley, 3B: $4.3 MM Luke Jackson, RP: $3.8 MM Richard Rodriguez, RP: $3.1 MM Orlando Arcia, IF/ OF: $2.1 MM Guillermo Heredia, OF: $1.6 MM Mike Soroka, SP: $2.8 MM Johan Camargo, IF/ OF: $1.4 MM A.J. Minter, RP: $2.1 MM Tyler Matzek, RP: $1.5 MM Sean Newcomb, RP: $900 K Non-tender candidates: Duvall, Arcia, Heredia, Camargo, Newcomb

Option Decisions

Joc Pederson, OF: $10 MM mutual option for 2022( player declined in favor of a $2.5 MM buyout)

Adam Duvall, OF:$ 7MM reciprocal alternative for 2022( musician declined in favor of a$ 3MM buyout, remains arbitration-eligible) Josh Tomlin, RP: $1.25 MM team option for 2022( worsened for a $250 K buyout)

Free Agents

Jorge Soler, Eddie Rosario, Freddie Freeman, Jesse Chavez, Chris Martin, Drew Smyly, Ehire Adrianza, Stephen Vogt, Tanner Roark, Terrance Gore, Grant Dayton

The Braves are the endorses of the 2021 Major League Baseball season. Bully for you, Atlanta. Given that fact, their offseason expectation is pretty good. Frankly, whatever happens over the next six months won’t really matter to the Braves. They’re the champs, and that’s the ultimate wintertime gavel drop.

The one thing that could sluggish the ebullient feel-goodery of their championship guided is the pending contract negotiation with longtime face-of-the-franchise Freddie Freeman. If by some odd turn of demise Freeman does not sign a long-term deal to stay with the Braves, that’s when the light-headeds turn on, the music stops, and everyone goes home.

The 2022 season is already shaping up to be a weird one: the Giant will be without Buster Posey, the National will probably be without Ryan Zimmerman, Bryzzo no longer exists except in the storage of Cubs’ love, a fanbase other than Houston is likely going to embrace Carlos Correa, and the agreement between the owners and Players’ Union that defines the conditions of the 2022 season…well…there is no agreement. Point being, there’s only so much change a play can take in a single winter, so let’s acquire for the sake of sanity that Freeman will remain with the only organization he has ever known. If north boundaries up being south and swine fly, we can cross that connection then.

After all, from a baseball view, there’s little reasonablenes not to bring back Freeman. He’s one year walk away from an MVP season and coming off a. 300/.393 /. 503 expedition, in which he led the NL with 120 ranges. He’s been one of the most consistent participates in baseball, both from a reputation and make position. He’s posted 4.0 rWAR or better in each of the last six seasons( except in cases of 2020, when he put up 3.2 rWAR in 60 sports ). He’s been the heartbeat of the squad for years, and he shows no signeds of slowing down.

Yes, he plays first base, and that intends he’s not a particularly versatile asset. His next contract will make him into his late thirties, and it’s going to be costly. But so long as they have Acuna and Albies locked into ridiculously team-friendly agreements, and so long as their largest contract belongs to Charlie Morton on a minimal-risk, short-term contract, these Braves should have the money to overpay a little to keep” new Chipper” in his cupboard spot.

From a narrative position, the engines stalled during the postseason while Joe Buck and John Smoltz frequently tried to breathe life into the story of Soler, Rosario, Duvall, and Pederson being brought to Atlanta at the deadline. For sure, leave President of Baseball Action Alex Anthopoulos all the credit he deserves. He utterly created the flooring for what had been an under-performing Atlanta team, and he hit pay dirt when each of the four proved up immense in the postseason. It’s pretty remarkable, in fact, that each of those four people was able to make a distinct imprint on this postseason.

And hitherto, there’s a world-wide in which nothing of them return to Atlanta for 2022. Soler and Rosario were the NLCS and World Series MVPs, respectively, but they are both straight-up free agents- free to sign wherever they satisfy. For both of those chaps, they could be in for an extended stay at reception unless the Braves want to honor their contribution with a hero’s offer.

On the other hand, it’s easy to see either one of the following options guys returning to Atlanta. When guys become postseason starts like Rosario and Soler, they instantly become more valuable to their incumbent franchise than they are anywhere else. For the players, they certainly should have positive associations from their time in Atlanta, and their popularity rhythms will be less sensitive in Atlanta than with a fresh fanbase. And more, Soler and Rosario are corner outfielders at best, and most squads may want to see what happens with the CBA before indicating a potential designated hitter.

While Soler and Rosario are the decorated heroes of this outfield foursome, Pederson and Duvall have been the active pair thus far. Pederson declined his $10 MM mutual alternative, choice instead to take a $2.5 MM buyout and foreman to free bureau. The move spawns sense for both sides, as Pederson will want to find a situation with more guaranteed playing epoch. Coming off a 94 wRC+ season that viewed him post precisely 0.6 fWAR between the Cubs and Braves, the Braves weren’t likely to exercise their half of the option if the decision had become it that far.

The Duvall decision is a touch more complex. Their postseason centerfielder declined his half of a$ 7MM reciprocal alternative, pocketing the$ 3MM buyout. But he remains under team control through arbitration. Duvall has been a 109 wRC+ hitter over the past three seasons, predominantly with Atlanta, and he’s coming off probably his best year, announcing 2.4 fWAR between the Marlins and Braves. Besides, unlocking at least a travel ability to play centerfield moves Duvall all the more valuable. He’s a flawed musician because of subpar on-base talents, but he can also carry a crew when he’s hot. Still, the Braves have specified him for work in the past when financing of the are very similar, and if they learned anything this past season, it’s that outfielders can be had at the deadline for inexpensive. If they remain him, MLBTR’s Matt Swartz projects a payment in the $9.1 MM range.

Not to mention, the Braves outfield quandary starts deeper than those four. With Acuna coming back, they’re already overcrowded( even if Acuna isn’t ready by opening day ). Plus, with Marcell Ozuna‘s contract hanging over this team, there’s a lot more uncertainty leader into next season. As of now, there’s no telling if Ozuna will toy again or if the Braves would have any recourse to getting out of his contract, should they want to.

They likewise have heralded potentials Cristian Pache and Drew Waters to work into the equation. Pache already has a Major League glove, and he should have a roster spot on the 2022 Braves. Even if he’s not strictly an daily regular, if he’s on the roster, he’s likely to get a lot of the playing time.

The shape and profundity of the Braves’ 22 outfield is unclear, but the truth is, it’s a largely cosmetic question. There are plenty of options available to Anthopoulos, and it’s more a question of sentimentality and narrative than it is efficacy. The bones of a solid outfield are already there, especially if they choose to bring back Duvall, and even if none of Soler, Duvall, Rosario and Pederson return, there ought to be plenty of low-cost alternatives available to deliver aboard.

The rest of the offense is fairly well set. Swanson has one more year of arbitration at short, Albies is locked in long-term at second, Riley proved himself at the hot corner, and d’Arnaud ratified a two-year extension to return as the starting backstop. One rebelliou fantasized: having regard to the shortstops that are available this winter, the Braves could be bold and look now for a long-term replacement for Swanson at short-lived, but that’s probably a little too cute for Anthopoulos. Swanson is Georgia born, he has enormous “hairs-breadth”, solid memes, and the former number 1 overall collect has been a steady if unspectacular vicinity on both sides of the ball. Entering his age-2 8 season, they are able to hitherto be a career year lurking as well.

Behind those starters, William Contreras testifies predict and can serve as the backup behind the plate. If they want to give him more regular playing time in Triple-A, Chadwick Tromp was are caught up from the Whale and 24 -year-old Shea Langeliers isn’t far from elbowing his direction into the room. If retained, Johan Camargo and Orlando Arcia can backup most places around the diamond, though either one could be a non-tender candidate given their light outputs at the dish. Travis Demeritte was added to the 40 -man roster to compete for a backup role as well. There’s a smudge to replenish on the bench, but it primarily depends on whether or not they retain any of the” trade deadline four .”

For the rest of the roster, they’re actually in a much better place than you might assume for a team coming off the work of its fourth consecutive department designation. Because despite their longstanding success, there’s definitely an up-and-coming quality to this roster, especially on the pitching area. Morton, Ian Anderson, and Max Fried make for a stellar top of the rotation, and there’s some serious upside to untap if Mike Soroka can return health and either Huascar Ynoa, Kyle Wright , Kyle Muller, or Touki Toussaint can establish themselves in the big-hearteds. Of route, we’ve been saying this of Atlanta’s gyration for years. They’ve also managed to keep it together for years.

They may look to add another Drew Smyly kind, a back-end rotation piece who granted them 126 2/3 innings of four. 48 ERA/ 5.11 FIP baseball during the regular season. Those innings are no joke, and Atlanta will have to fill them again next year. Smyly was little better than replacing degree, so they should have no trouble replacing him.

The bullpen remains mostly intact as well, with the southpaw triumvirate of Will Smith, Tyler Matzek, and A.J. Minter returning. Richard Rodriguez, Luke Jackson, and Jacob Webb even off a solid trio of righties as well. There’s certainly room for an addition now or there, but it’s more likely the Braves will meddle at the edges of the roster

All in all, it’s likely to be a relatively quiet winter for the champs outside of a possible Freeman extension. With arbitration estimates, their projected payroll is right around the $140 MM tag they carried in 2021. Of route, that’s without a brand-new contract for Freeman, but triumphing the World Series ought to help represent the additional apartment in the payroll to keep the player who waited the longest in Atlanta to win.

Read more: