Dansby Swanson advising Max Fried on looming free agency is bad sign for Braves

Max Fried is entering his walk year with the Atlanta Braves. His former teammates, Freddie Freeman and Dansby Swanson had some advice for him concerning free agency.

Division Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves - Game Two
Division Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves - Game Two / Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/GettyImages
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The Atlanta Braves are about to face a difficult decision this coming offseason, as left-hander Max Fried is set to hit the free agent market.

While the Braves do have Spencer Strider, they may ultimately lose their workhorse in Fried, who has been one of, if not their top starter over the past four seasons.

He's watched two of his best friends and teammates, Dansby Swanson and Freddie Freeman depart in free agency, so it's always possible that Fried could be on his way out.

Swanson and Freeman each offered Fried some helpful advice on free agency and how to approach a potential walk year.

"It's a contract year. There are a lot of guys with contract years," said Freeman, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "But the only thing I can say is go out there and have fun. Don't worry about it."

Swanson spoke in a similar tone.

"We've had conversations surrounding it all," Swanson said. "I think, obviously, he plays his cards very close to his chest, which I love and appreciate about him, so I'm not going to get into his perspective that he's shared or hasn't shared. I'm not going to guess or anything like that. I just know he's smart and he very much knows who he is and what he wants to do."

However, this could be bad news for the Braves.

Former teammates' advice for Fried could backfire on Braves

The reason this could ultimately be bad news for the Braves is that Fried, who like Swanson alluded to, plays his cards close to his vest, and he may not be willing to talk with the team about a potential contract extension.

The Braves would obviously love to have Fried back, but if they can't approach him during the season, it's going to be very hard for them to bring him back in free agency.

The Braves can certainly afford to do it, but they'll have to bid against plenty of other teams. Their division rivals, the Philadelphia Phillies can't be counted out.

The New York Mets also may have some money to spend going into 2025, and Fried could be on their radar. The left-hander is a native of California, so the Los Angeles Dodgers could be another team the Braves have to bid against.

In addition, Fried may have a desire to reunite with old teammates. If he joins the Dodgers, he'll reunite with Freeman. He could also potentially reunite with Swanson on the Chicago Cubs.

We'll see how the season plays out and if the Braves are able to make progress in contract talks.

When Fried hits free agency, he'll join pitchers such as Corbin Burnes and Nathan Eovaldi. Expect Fried teams to be in hot pursuit of Fried, who may be the second-best starter available on the free agent market next year.

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