Approved Deal: Braves have Decided to Sign 2 Huge Contracts. Fans are…

2 dream Braves free agent targets this offseason that would drive fans wild.


It would be awesome to see the Braves really push their chips in for the 2024 season with these free agents.

Early in the offseason is the time where Atlanta Braves fans love to dream on what could be. Sure, there are reasonable concerns like the luxury tax, payroll flexibility, and planning for future seasons, but those are boring. In this moment, we can still wonder what this already stellar Braves roster would look like with the top free agents on it.

Is that likely to happen? No. The Braves have some financial wiggle room this offseason especially if they decline Charlie Morton’s 2024 option, but the reality is that they only have so much room on their payroll in respect to the luxury tax given all the extensions they have signed. However, it is still nice to dream.

Here are 2 dream Braves free agent targets this offseason that would drive fans wild

Just to be clear, most of these signings are HIGHLY unlikely to happen even if the Braves don’t care at all about the luxury tax penalties. Competition for these guys is going to be fierce this offseason and it is not in Alex Anthopoulos’ DNA to give out the contracts ($) that most of these guys are going to command. However, there are a couple that could happen and who knows, maybe AA will have a surprise in store yet again going into 2024.

Let’s take a look at some of the dream free agent signings fans wish the Braves could pull off this offseason.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto

Yoshinobu Yamamoto Is MLB's Next Big Bidding War

Yamamoto is probably the most pie-in-the-sky option for the Braves because Atlanta hasn’t been in the market for the top Japanese players since they signed Kenshin Kawakami before the 2009. For those that may not remember that far back, that did not end well as Kenshin lasted just two seasons in Atlanta before being sent down to the minors and ultimately returning to Japan.

Yoshinobu would still be a fantastic guy to try to add to the Braves’ questionable 2024 starting rotation, though. He has three plus pitches including a mid to high 90’s fastball, a splitter that doesn’t seem fair, and a curve that keeps hitters honest and plays up with his other pitches. Importantly, Yamamoto has the ability to command all of his pitches as well.

The problems here are with cost, competition, and geography. Most Japanese players either prefer west coast teams to take more advantage of Japanese marketing opportunities or go to big markets like New York or Boston. The Braves are neither of those things. A big chunk of the league is already vying to get their hands on Yoshinobu which means his price is going to skyrocket and that will favor teams with more free cash laying around.

Still, he would instantly become one of the Braves’ top pitchers and would extend the Braves’ brand to Japan which would be awesome.

Blake Snell

Padres Daily: Snell rises to occasion again; Soto's exclusive club; Kim's  endurance - The San Diego Union-Tribune

Not many people had Blake Snell as a Cy Young favorite heading into the 2023 season and with good reason. Snell had certainly been a very good pitcher in recent years, but his numbers had dropped off considerably from his 2018 season with the Rays where he posted a 1.89 ERA and won the AL Cy Young award.

However, 2023 was a big bounce back season for Snell as put up a 2.25 ERA for the Padres in 32 starts. Importantly, this was also the first season since that 2018 season that Snell was able to throw more than 129 innings in a season with 180 IP in 2023. If you are going to have another career year, doing it the season before you hit free agency is the time to do it.

Snell’s season positioned him as one of the top starting pitchers on the free agent market this offseason. His durability is a concern, but he is still probably going to a four or five year deal at around $24-25 million a year when he signs.

With the Braves still thinking about giving an extension to Max Fried and the fact that Snell’s durability concerns as well as the fact that his walk rate this season (5.0 BB/9) was so rough, Atlanta doesn’t seem likely to compete for his services. But if they did pull the trigger, he would be a huge addition to the Braves’ starting rotation.

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