For violating the league’s  abuse policy, the Braves suspend the star for an indeterminate period of time.

Jose Altuve, a second baseman with the Houston Astros, was said to be a “Astro for life” when the team inked him to a new contract extension last week. Phrases like “it’s so rare these days” or “players today just don’t do that” or “it’s refreshing to see this happen because it just doesn’t happen anymore” would frequently follow that declaration.

That made me stop and consider a few things, but the first thing that came to me was the Atlanta Braves and their core group of players, who have signed an unparalleled number of contract extensions at a young age.

Which member of this group has the potential to become a “Brave for life” was the second part of that idea.

Now, regarding that “Brave forIf you extend that to the Braves franchise history going back to 1876 that number jumps all-the-way to four.


Names that don’t make those lists?

Hall of Famers Hank Aaron (Brewers), Eddie Mathews (Astros, Tigers), Warren Spahn (Mets, Giants), Tom Glavine (Mets) and John Smoltz (Red Sox, Cardinals).

Nor does include former Braves Dale Murphy (Phillies, Rockies), Bob Horner (Cardinals), Rick Mahler (Reds, Expos), Fred Tenney (Giants), Del Crandall (Giants, Pirates, Indians), Tommy Holmes (Dodgers), Glenn Hubbard (Athletics) and Mike Lum (Reds, Cubs).

In the Atlanta-era, that “lifer list” includes Hall of Famer Chipper Jones and All-Star catchers Bruce Benedict and Biff Pocoroba.

The only other player to pull off the feat in franchise history is Sibby Sisti, an infielder for the Braves who played from the World War II-era to the mid-1950s.

The narrative that it was common for players from the past to stay with one team their entire MLB career – at least with the Braves – is a false one.

Fifteen years ago, Brian McCann looked like he could be a Brave for-life. Ten years ago, Freddie Freeman seemed to be on a path that would have made his singular jaunt with the Braves too sweet.

But McCann left Atlanta for the Yankees and Freeman … yeah, we all know where he ended up even if we may never know the real reasons he did.

With all of that history behind us, now we ask the big question: Can anyone from this current 2024 team join this exclusive club?

Here’s a look at the candidates:

Ozzie Albies

Albies is now the longest tenured Braves player and has been a multi-time All-Star. The diminutive second baseman just turned 27 and is under team control through the 2026 season thanks to one of the team-friendliest contracts since free agency began five decades ago.

Given his age and productivity it seems plausible that the Braves could tear-up the last couple of seasons of his current deal and extend him for at least three more years, but until that happens – and given all the other long-term deals the Braves are locked into it doesn’t seem to be too likely – we all may have to come to grips with the fact that we might be a few years away from seeing Albies’ helmet flying off for another squad.

Max Fried and A.J. Minter

Both pitchers are heading into their last season prior to free agency with the likelihood of them reaching free agency relatively high.

Starter Fried – who debuted one week after Albies – will be pitching this season at age 30, and although he is Atlanta’s lefty ace, it would be surprising to see Fried stick around after this year given the assumptive price

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