3 massive Braves offseason risks that could come back to haunt them

The Atlanta Braves offseason wasn't a bad one by any means, but some of the players they rely on are flight risks.

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1. Is Chris Sale really the Braves rotation answer?

Chris Sale's 2023 season ended on a high note for the Boston Red Sox, as he had a 3.92 ERA after rejoining the team in August. The Braves are banking on getting that guy, rather than the former ace who lacked control and poise on the mound for much of the last two seasons.

Atlanta traded Vaughn Grissom to the Red Sox in exchange for Sale. While Grissom didn't have a place on the Braves roster as currently constructed, he has shown a lot of talent with a bat in his hands. In Boston, he is likely to slot in as the everyday second baseman, while Trevor Story plays shortstop. There was talk earlier this offseason of Grissom playing the outfield, but that was quickly put to bed when the Braves acquired Kelenic.

Sale should be a fine fit in the Braves rotation. However, his acquisition doesn't fully solve Atlanta's problems. Anthopoulos is taking his rotation year by year. Instead, a step back would be recommended.

Max Fried is a free agent after this year and will likely leave this winter barring an unexpected extension. Charlie Morton is in the final year of his deal, and sounds like a man ready for his baseball career to end on a high note. Even if Sale performs well on his new deal, the Braves may have to dip into free agency to add to their rotation next winter.

Anthopoulos knows this, which is why he reportedly made a competitive offer to Aaron Nola, who ended up re-signing with the Phillies. Sale isn't the lone answer to the Braves rotation woes, and it's a little surprising they didn't make a bigger splash.

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