3 Atlanta Braves who will be better in 2024 and 2 who won't

The Atlanta Braves are on a shortlist of teams who can realistically win the World Series this year.

Max Fried, Atlanta Braves
Max Fried, Atlanta Braves / Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves/GettyImages
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2. Max Fried has something to prove heading into a contract season

At this point, I have conceded the fact that this is probably Max Fried's last year in a Braves uniform. He may want to stay in Atlanta, but general manager Alex Anthopoulos has a way of doing things in the front office, and that is to not pay heaping gobs of money to pitchers who are over 30 years old. Oh, he will bring in a guy with something to prove, but that guy usually is Charlie Morton or Chris Sale.

Fried is the Braves' best big-game pitcher. He won Game 6 of the 2021 World Series. No matter what happens after this season, Fried will always be a legend for that in the heart of Braves Country. But with him having an injury-plagued possible penultimate season with the Braves, I think it serves him, Atlanta and really everybody involved, to just go out to the rubber every fifth day and freaking shove.

Doing so may price Fried out of Atlanta's grasp and into the arms of his boyhood team in the Los Angeles Dodgers. However, if Fried being one of the six best pitchers in the game absolutely crushes it during his contract season, that might be enough to have him leaving Atlanta as a two-time World Series champion. The Braves are playing a dangerous game, but I can see it all working out in the end.

It would not shock me if Fried ended up having the best stat line of any Braves pitcher in the rotation.