3 offseason moves Braves can make to build around Ronald Acuña

The Atlanta Braves are still very much in NL East contention, but they ought to have one eye looking forward to the 2022 offseason, and how they can build around injured star Ronald Acuña.

Acuña is signed for the long-term, so inking him to an extension is not something the Braves need to think about right now. Atlanta was one game away from making the World Series in the shortened 2020 season, but struggled out of the gate this year and have yet to fully recover.

The Braves fanbase is hungry for a World Series, as they haven’t won one since 1995, and came painfully close on several occasions, including last year.

So, where should the Braves go from here? Keeping Acuña happy is among their chief goals, but so it building a competent contender year in and year out. Alex Anthopoulos has some work to do.

Braves must extend Freddie Freeman

Might as well start with the most obvious choice.

Freeman is on the final year of his deal, and despite winning National League MVP in 2020, remains unsigned and destined to hit free agency should the Braves not act now. Letting Freeman hit the open market could prove to be a huge mistake, especially if he takes his talents elsewhere for more yearly income.

The 31-year-old Freeman is irreplaceable, and even with age eventually playing a small factor, should be in the MVP and All-Star discussion for his position year in and year out. He’s also among one of the best defenders at his position, and a fan favorite. Frankly, he’s everything the Braves would want for a face of their franchise. Atlanta is just lucky enough to have two of those in Freeman and Acuña.

The Braves would be smart not to lowball Freeman, as he has the stats to back up his desire for a large contract.

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