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Will the Braves re-sign their ace?

By Anna Claire Dean

The story of the Atlanta Braves off-season, so far, has been: will the Braves re-sign Max Fried after the 2024 season?

Fried was drafted seventh overall by the San Diego Padres in the 2012 Major League Baseball June Amateur Draft from Harvard-Westlake High School in Los Angeles, California. The Padres traded Fried, along with Dustin Peterson, Jace Peterson, and Mallex Smith, to the Atlanta Braves in 2014 in exchange for Justin Upton and Aaron Northcraft.

Fried has been with the Braves since 2014 and made his MLB debut for the team in 2017. Since then, he has become the No. 1 pitcher and ace for the team, and has even won a World Series game for them (2021, game 6).

After dealing with some minor injuries in the 2023 season, Fried is looking forward to a good and healthy 2024 season.

However, 2024 is also a contract year for the star pitcher. Fried is currently on a one-year, $15 million contract, which will conclude at the end of the upcoming season, making him an unrestricted free agent.

When asked about his upcoming free agency during Braves Fest on Saturday, Jan. 27, Fried said, “It’s out of my control right now, but, I mean, the Braves do things a certain way, and I know that privacy, and more, having that just kind of be more behind closed doors is just the way things are done, so I’m going to respect that, but I know that I love being here and I’m really excited to get started with this group.”

Fried went on to talk about his time with the Braves organization and his appreciation for the city of Atlanta and all Braves fans.

“You know, I mean, I’ve spent the majority of my career with the Braves. I spent a couple years with the Padres, and I got traded over with Tommy John and I was 20 years old and, you know, looking back at it, it’s about 10 years now, so this is really all I know and the organization has been nothing but supportive to me, and the fans and the city has really embraced me and I really love my time here.”

It has currently not been said whether the Braves will extend Fried’s current contract or re-sign him at the end of the season, but it is expected that they will be competing against a few West Coast teams for their ace.

Anna Claire ‘AC’ Dean, 15, is a Knight of Honor at Upson-Lee High School where she plays softball for the Lady Knights. She writes and publishes sports articles online and is working toward a career as a sports reporter.

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