Max Fried is feeling healthy after an injury-plagued 2023 season, and the Braves ace is looking to focus just on baseball rather than a possible trip to free agency next winter. “I feel like a lot of that is, I would say it’s out of my control right now,” Fried told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Justin Toscano and other reporters. “But the Braves do things a certain way, and I know that privacy and having that just kind of be more behind closed doors is the way things are done, so I’m gonna respect that. But I know that I love being here, and I’m really excited to get started with this group….We didn’t accomplish what we wanted to last year, but I know that we have a really determined group, and I’m really excited to get started.”
It isn’t known whether or not the Braves and Fried’s reps at CAA have had any more talks since the two sides discussed an extension last spring, since as Fried noted, the Braves tend to avoid leaks when it comes to transactional or contract news. Atlanta is more aggressive than any other club when it comes to extending players, yet the fact that Fried has gotten so close to free agency might hint that either side might ultimately be comfortable in parting ways next winter.
More from around the NL East…
- Stone Garrett’s season ended on August 23, when the Nationals outfielder fractured his left fibula and broke his left ankle crashing into Yankee Stadium’s right field wall in pursuit of a home run ball. The Washington Post’s Andrew Golden has an update on Garrett’s status, writing that the outfielder has been proceeding as planned with his six-month recovery projection and might be ready for the start of Spring Training, though both Garrett and the Nats will proceed with caution. Garrett discussed many aspects of his rehab process, providing some interesting details into the physical and mental challenges that go into recovering from such a serious pair of injuries. The 28-year-old Garrett has hit an impressive .271/.335/.477 over 355 career plate appearances with the Diamondbacks and Nationals, and looks to have earned himself a more regular spot in Washington’s lineup if he is healthy.
- The relief corps has been a target area for the Mets this offseason, including the recent re-signing of Adam Ottavino. SNY’s Andy Martino writes that the Mets still weighing whether or not to add yet another reliever to the mix, and Jon Heyman of the New York Post adds that the club has a particular interest in left-handed bullpen help, with Wandy Peralta one of the names under consideration. Peralta was initially connected to the Mets earlier this month, and he is no stranger to the Big Apple after pitching the last three seasons with the Yankees (new Mets manager Carlos Mendoza is also the Yankees’ ex-bench coach). Brooks Raley is currently the only southpaw slated for a regular role in the Amazins’ bullpen, so some more lefty depth would certainly appear to be a useful addition.