The offseason isn’t over and there are still several big names available, but the Atlanta Braves have been one of the more active teams to this point. Still the question is, how much will the moves made this offseason have an impact on the 2024 season? The Athletic is skeptical giving the Braves a “C” for their offseason in their annual roundup.
Alex Anthopoulos conducted his offseason as if eluding a tail, meandering down backstreets only to double back toward his ultimate destination. That’s how Atlanta ended up trading for and then trading away four different players in the same offseason, not to mention Matt Carpenter, whom they acquired and then released.
In a way, though, Atlanta is trying to elude a tail: those vexing Phillies. Less relevant than how many more regular-season wins it can squeeze out of the roster is how many more October victories it can generate. In that regard, there are a couple high-ceiling plays here. Maybe a former top prospect in Jarred Kelenic fully realizes his potential and becomes another part of Atlanta’s enviable position player core. And maybe Chris Sale is still Chris Sale, capable of being a lights-out left-handed starter when the lights are brightest. For a team whose starting depth has crumbled the past two autumns, pushing the chips in on Sale represents quite the gamble.
Let’s be clear, it isn’t the worst grade, but it isn’t the best either. Especially look at the Phillies, who received a “B” for essentially retaining Aaron Nola and to this point at least, are bringing back the same club.
Atlanta reportedly pursued Nola and that would have likely been viewed as a major splash. The closest move they made to a splash was probably acquiring Chris Sale who brings a large amount of injury risk to the table. If Jarred Kelenic realizes his potential, then we may very well look back at that move as one of the best of the offseason, but again it brings risk.
Alex Anthopoulos also spent some time rebuilding the bullpen and while none of those moves can be called splash moves, they have a chance to make a major impact. The Braves added some much-needed left-handed depth and also added some hard throwers to the mix. It might not have been a splash offseason, but the reality is, the Braves didn’t need one.
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