July 12, 2024

There exists a perception within the Atlanta Braves fanbase, particularly on social media, that the team, under the leadership of president of baseball operations Alex Anthopoulos, is displaying a reluctance to make substantial financial investments in top-tier free agents this winter.

Alex Anthopoulos on the offseason, Max Fried's status, Vaughn Grissom and  more - Battery Power

To summarize recent signings:

1. Aaron Nola returned to the Philadelphia Phillies with a seven-year deal worth $172 million, despite Atlanta reportedly offering a higher bid.
2. Sonny Gray signed a three-year, $75 million contract with the St. Louis Cardinals.
3. Shohei Ohtani secured a historic ten-year, $700 million deal, with $680 million deferred, resulting in a lower luxury tax calculation.

It’s essential to note that these free agents received qualifying offers, necessitating the Braves to forfeit their 2nd and 5th-highest draft picks in the 2024 MLB Draft had they signed with Atlanta.

Several other pitchers, categorized as third or fourth tier, such as Seth Lugo, Eduardo Rodriguez, Michael Wacha, Kenta Maeda, Tyler Mahle, and Jack Flaherty, have also found new teams.

Despite fan concerns about Atlanta appearing “cheap,” the Braves have been active in the offseason, committing significant funds relative to other MLB teams. They have signed three players—relievers Pierce Johnson and Joe Jiménez and pitcher Reynaldo López—for a total of $70.25 million. According to Spotrac’s payroll calculations, the Braves currently boast the third-highest cash payroll at $208.4 million and the highest Competitive Balance Tax (CBT) payroll at $242 million for 2024.

While the offseason is ongoing, with notable free agents like Matt Chapman, Cody Bellinger, and Yoshinobu Yamamoto still available, it is important to emphasize that Atlanta has already made substantial financial commitments.

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