Braves rumors: Ozzie Albies' return, surprise free agent target, HR history chase

  • Braves getting closer to HR history
  • Surprise free agency target fits the Anthopoulos mold
  • Ozzie Albies' return is tantalizingly close
Ozzie Albies, Atlanta Braves. (Rich Schultz/GettyImages)
Ozzie Albies, Atlanta Braves. (Rich Schultz/GettyImages) / Rich Schultz/GettyImages
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Blessed with the best record in baseball, the 83-44 Atlanta Braves hold a 13.5-game lead over the Philadelphia Phillies in the NL East race and are four games better than the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Frankly, they could be even better once All-Star second baseman Ozzie Albies returns from the IL. Atlanta has reintegrated southpaw ace Max Fried into the starting rotation, but Kyle Wright is still on the mend. Maybe there is an arm Atlanta can target in free agency if Charlie Morton retires? In the meantime, have you seen how many home runs this most potent lineup has hit throughout the year?

So with with Game 2 of their road series at the San Francisco Giants coming to us live later this afternoon, are you ready for some more Braves baseball news?! I already know the answer to that.

Atlanta Braves rumors: Home run history chase update's Mark Bowman outlined what all is going on with the franchise that lives to dig the long ball. Through Friday night's action, five Braves hitters have connected on 25 or more big flies. Matt Olson leads baseball with 48. Austin Riley is one away from 30 with 29. Ronald Acuña Jr., Ozzie Albies and Marcell Ozuna all have 28 apiece. Sean Murphy and Eddie Rosario are a good ways back at 20 apiece.

Basically, here is what is at stake... Olson is eight home runs away from tying Andruw Jones' franchise record of 51 in a season. Should Acuña, Alibies, Ozuna and Riley all get to 30 or more homers, it would set an NL record for most players with 30-plus home runs in a season at five. That would tie them with the 2019 Twins, a team Rosario was a part of, for the most 30-homer teammates on one MLB roster.

To date, only the 1998 Braves featured a team with four players who hit 30 moonshots in a season. Those players were Andres Galarraga, Andruw Jones, Chipper Jones and Javy Lopez. Should either Murphy or Rosario get above the 25-homer plateau, Atlanta would tie the 2003 Boston Red Sox and the 2019 Twins for six players on one roster with 25 or more home runs. This latter one is so unlikely.

The only people who dig the long ball more than '90s chicks these days are the 2023 Atlanta Braves.