Braves rumors: Fan favorite leaves, Sale expectations, surprise prospect ranking

  • Former Braves fan favorite Jesse Chavez has signed elsewhere.
  • What should Braves fans expect from Chris Sale this season?
  • A.J. Smith-Shawver fell out of the top-100 in some prospect rankings

Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves
Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves / Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/GettyImages
2 of 3

Braves rumors: Chris Sale ready to take a major step forward in 2024

Chris Sale had a normal offseason for the first time in awhile, as he's spent the last few winters recovering from injury. Sale looked superb towards the end of the year with the Boston Red Sox, which is why the Braves cashed a lottery ticket by trading Vaughn Grissom to Beantown for the aging lefty.

The most important thing for Sale is to stay healthy in spring training. Atlanta will likely limit his workload early in the spring, which makes sense. Sale knows how to pitch, there's little Atlanta's pitching staff can teach him. David O'Brien of The Athletic outlined Sale's plan early in the year.

"The Braves believe the ultra-competitive 34-year-old can be impactful on and off the field, noting his 3.16 ERA in the final 15 of 20 starts he made in 2023 despite a 10-week injured-list stint for a scapula injury. They aim to keep him healthy for the postseason and will give Sale extra rest with that in mind...He’s had a normal, healthy offseason."

Atlanta signed Sale to a two-year contract upon arrival, which should ease some of his pressure to perform right away. He also doesn't have to carry the load anymore, as the Braves rotation is filled with talent at the top including Spencer Strider and Max Fried.