The Atlanta Braves are the kings of the baseball world in 2021.
After a hard-fought series with the Houston Astors, Atlanta was able to secure its first World Series title since 1995.
The organization deserves to enjoy this moment, but at the same time, it’s not too soon to start thinking about next season.
If the Braves want to repeat as champions in 2022, they’re going to have to answer some questions this winter.
Here are a few of those questions.
3. Which Youngsters Deserve Extensions?
If the Braves are hoping to be World Series contenders for years to come, they’d be wise to lock down some of their young stars.
Fried, 27, is a special talent.
Right now, the Braves have the southpaw under club control for three more seasons.
He seems to be getting better with each passing year, so it would make a lot of sense for Atlanta to secure a long-term future with him.
In the 2021 regular season, Fried posted a 3.04 ERA, 3.31 FIP, and 5.3 bWAR.
Moreover, he pitched the Braves to a win in the clinching game of the World Series.
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) November 3, 2021
As for Swanson, the Braves really need to make a decision about his future.
The former No. 1 overall pick is only under club control for one more season.
Has Atlanta seen enough from him to make a large financial commitment?
Time will tell.
In 2021, Swanson posted a 2.1 bWAR.
2. Will Eddie Rosario End Up Being More Than A Rental?
The Braves acquired Eddie Rosario at the 2021 trade deadline in a move that a lot of folks thought was going to be inconsequential.
It wound up being a massive addition for Atlanta.
Over 33 regular-season games with the team, the 30-year-old batted .271 with a .903 OPS and 131 OPS+.
Then, in the postseason, he went on an incredible tear, batting .383 with a 1.073 OPS.
Along the way, he earned NLCS MVP honors after slashing .560/.607/1.040 in that series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
There’s no telling if the Braves would have won the title without him.
Now, the organization needs to make a decision about Rosario.
Will Atlanta pursue him in free agency?
We’ll get an answer soon enough.
1. Will Freddie Freeman Be Wearing A Braves Uniform In 2022?
Of course, the big question revolves around the future of Freddie Freeman.
Freeman, 32, is one of the faces of the Braves organization, and things wouldn’t the same without him.
This offseason, he’s a free agent.
He just led the franchise to its first World Series title this century, and he has been the team’s best player in countless seasons since breaking into the big leagues in 2010.
Since the start of the 2016 season, Freeman is batting .305 with a .946 OPS and 146 OPS+.
That’s elite production, and it would be virtually impossible for the Braves to replace it.
Freddie Freeman, regular season career:
.295/.384/.509, 138 wRC+
Freddie Freeman, postseason career:
.290/.393/.523, 142 wRC+
The man just hits. Extend him forever.
— Austin Reach (@reach_baseball) November 3, 2021
Fans want to see the veteran back, and it certainly seems like Atlanta is where he wants to be.
We’ll see where this story ends up.