May 28, 2024

It has been a busy and effective offseason for the Braves despite what some might want you to believe

It has been an active last six week for Alex Anthopoulos and staff as the Braves tweak their roster for the 2024 season.

Since the disappointing conclusion of the 2023 postseason, Alex Anthopoulos and his team have been working tirelessly to revamp the latter part of the team’s 40-man roster, reminiscent of the activity seen during John Coppolella’s tenure in the Atlanta Braves front office.

Some might speculate that the Braves have been fueled by the highly caffeinated lemonade making headlines lately, as, contrary to certain beliefs circulating on the internet, the team has been exceptionally active. Anthopoulos elaborated on this matter earlier in the week, and a brief summary can be found here.

Spring Training Grapefruit League Media Day

Excluding waiver claims and minor league signings, here’s a summary of Atlanta’s actions over the past six weeks:

1. Traded for Aaron Bummer, sending Michael Soroka, Jared Shuster, Nicky Lopez, Braden Shewmake, and Riley Gowens to the Chicago White Sox.
2. Sold the rights to Nick Anderson to the Kansas City Royals.
3. Traded Kyle Wright to the Royals for Jackson Kowar.
4. Signed relief pitcher (and potentially starting pitcher) Reynaldo Lopez.
5. Re-signed Penn Murfee and Jackson Stephens.
6. Acquired Jarred Kelenic, Marco Gonzales, and Evan White for Kowar and Cole Phillips.
7. Traded Gonzales to the Pittsburgh Pirates for a player to be named later.
8. Re-signed Angel Perdomo.
9. Sent White and Tyler Thomas to the Los Angeles Angels for David Fletcher and Max Stassi.
10. Traded Stassi to the White Sox for another player to be named later.
11. Acquired Ray Kerr and Matt Carpenter from the San Diego Padres for Drew Campbell.
12. Released Carpenter.

For some fans, there may still be an association of name recognition with value. However, the trades of players like Soroka and Wright indicate that they are no longer part of the Braves’ plans, at least for the 2024 season.

While these moves may not have the flashiness some desire, the restructuring of the roster is the most significant in recent times. The bullpen now features high-velocity arms like Kerr, whose fastball averaged 96 MPH last season, replacing long-men without eye-popping velocity.

Despite financial transactions, the Braves, with most of their batting lineup set and left field addressed with Kelenic, had limited additions to make, mostly focusing on strengthening the end of the bench.

Initially, there were expectations that the Braves would pursue significant starting pitchers in the offseason, but so far, the rotation remains unaddressed, aside from the possibility of converting Lopez to a starter. With the bullpen improvements, Anthopoulos may reconsider the need for a major starting pitcher acquisition.

Anthopoulos, unlike some predecessors, retained key prospects in the Braves system, a strategy proving wise. Whether through skill, intuition, luck, or analysis, he has consistently made the right moves, letting go of the right players and holding onto the best prospects.

Although the Braves may not have made headline-grabbing signings like “Nola” or “Ohtani,” the offseason has seen strategic moves with the budget allocated for next season. Instead of focusing on a single high-profile player, excess funds were leveraged for trades that aligned with the team’s preferences.

In addition to player transactions, the coaching staff underwent changes with the additions of Tom Goodwin, Matt Tuiasosopo, and Erick Abreu, replacing Ron Washington, Eric Young, Sr., and Drew French. The impact of these coaching changes could be the most significant next season.

As Spring Training 2024 approaches, the Braves’ offseason roster work may be mostly complete, but knowing Anthopoulos, a surprise move might still be in store.

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