3 players Braves must extend not named Dansby Swanson

Dansby Swanson, Atlanta Braves. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Dansby Swanson, Atlanta Braves. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Dansby Swanson, Atlanta Braves
Dansby Swanson, Atlanta Braves. (Photo by Adam Hagy/Getty Images) /

The Atlanta Braves have an obvious extension candidate in Dansby Swanson, but who else should they target? 

Dansby Swanson is Atlanta’s primary offseason concern, and rightly so — the Braves don’t want to lose one of the primary voices in their clubhouse. Nicknamed ‘the sheriff’, Swanson made his first All-Star team this year and increased his value immensely in a walk season.

Yet, even Alex Anthopoulos acknowledged that an extension isn’t guaranteed. If anyone knows that, it’s him given the Freddie Freeman debacle last offseason. The Braves like Swanson, and want to keep him around.

“He gets better every year…and he’s as good a teammate as you’re going to find,” Anthopoulos said.

Brian Snitker followed that up with his own endorsement.

“I love that guy, just what he brings with his consistency,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “I’ve never seen a player that wants to win more than him. And like I say, hopefully I get to reconvene with him. We’ll see.”

But let’s put Swanson to the side. Of course, Atlanta wants to sign him. Who else will they pursue, though, for contract extensions?

Braves rumors: Extend Charlie Morton

Morton’s extension is more for the financial benefit than to have him under contract for longer.

Morton has a club option after next season, but that’s for $20 million. It’s fair to wonder if he’ll be worth that much. So, rather than take an unnecessary risk, why not rework Morton’s contract to guarantee that year in his contract, but at a far lower rate?

Ground Chuck was anything but that this postseason, but he still fills an important role as a veteran starter atop the Atlanta rotation. Look no further than Houston and Justin Verlander — age is just a number. Morton could and should put up viable numbers in a full season, and may force Atlanta to make a tough decision.

Rather, the Braves could sign Morton guaranteed through these two years and give him, say, $15 million for 2024.