3 Braves who won't be back after crushing NLDS loss to Phillies

The Atlanta Braves' season has ended early once again. These players won't be back in 2024.

Marcell Ozuna, Atlanta Braves
Marcell Ozuna, Atlanta Braves / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Charlie Morton

Charlie Morton, the 39-year-old with two All-Star appearances on his resume, has spent three productive seasons with the Braves — including his second World Series win in 2021. A paragon of reliability and poise on the biggest stage, Morton finished the 2023 playoffs watching from the dugout with finger inflammation.

The injury sucks, it would be doubly unfortunate for his Braves career to end on such a bummer note. With his age, however, not to mention the in-flux nature of Atlanta's bullpen, there's good reason to suspect a Morton departure in the offseason. He could retire, or the Braves could simply let the unrestricted free agent walk. His contract could end up more expensive than the Braves are willing to pay.

Morton struggled at times in the regular season. He finished the campaign with a good-not-great 3.64 ERA and a concerning 1.427 WHIP. The Braves have questions to answer on the pitching front, but Spencer Strider and Max Fried are cemented as the team's aces. Kyle Wright is unlikely to play next season, but up-and-comer A.J. Smith-Shawver could step into the rotation alongside All-Star Bryce Elder. There's a squeeze for Morton's spot.

If he doesn't retire, other teams will toss money in Morton's direction. There are successful 40-year-old pitchers all around the league. The Astros are leaning heavily on one going into the ALCS. That's not to say Morton is Justin Verlander, but he still packs a decent punch on the mound. His career isn't necessarily over, just his time with the Braves.