Rival extension may have killed the Braves chances at re-signing Max Fried

The Atlanta Braves have some question marks entering the season, with one of them being the future of Max Fried. Chances of re-signing the veteran left-hander may be dwindling for the Braves.

Division Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves - Game Two
Division Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves - Game Two / Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/GettyImages

Max Fried is entering the final year of his contract with the Atlanta Braves, and all signs point to him testing the waters of free agency.

The question surrounding the Braves this spring is whether or not they will be able to keep Fried beyond the 2024 season. Braves fans are certainly hoping to have him back in 2025.

However, nothing is certain, and multiple sources even predict that Fried will leave Atlanta this coming winter, citing Zack Wheeler's recent contract extension with the Philadelphia Phillies as evidence.

"I'd put it at less than five percent," one source said of the Braves chances of re-signing Fried. "The free agent class for this offseason has taken a significant hit with Zack Wheeler re-signing with Philadelphia. Fried's now the second-best starter and best lefty available in the free agent class, with most slotting him in right behind Corbin Burnes of the Baltimore Orioles."

Braves may be more unlikely to re-sign Max Fried thanks to Phillies

Losing Fried would certainly create a massive hole in the Braves rotation. The left-hander has been the team's ace since 2020.

The Braves could potentially dive into the free agent market themselves in search of a replacement, and Burnes could be someone they target.

But it is important to remember one thing. The past two franchise stars that became free agents, Freddie Freeman and Dansby Swanson, ended up signing with new teams. In that case, Fried's free agency does not bode well for the Braves.

Wheeler's contract extension certainly created a ripple effect within the upcoming free agent class. Wheeler was going to be highly sought after, but Fried's stock will likely go up with him now being the second-best starter available this coming winter.

We'll see if the Braves are able to keep Fried or if he'll sign elsewhere. A contract extension would appear unlikely as of now.

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