Just like last season, there weren’t any monumental splashes at the trade deadline, but the Braves improved without giving up too much. For the time being, it feels like most of the team’s holes have been filled, and we won’t know if Anthopoulos made the proper adjustments until the end of the season, but here’s my grade for each of the Braves moves at the trade deadline.
Braves Trade Deadline Grades
Braves acquire Ehire Adrianza for Trey Harris
I liked Trey Harris, but he had become stagnant at the AA level and really wasn’t much of a prospect anymore. There’s almost no chance he ever would have appeared for the Braves, so that’s not my bone to pick with this move.
It takes 26 guys to win a World Series, and while the last guy on the bench may not make the headlines, every piece is important. Adrianza was on last year’s team and had some critical moments, but for most of his career, he’s been a below-replacement level player. He’s hitting just .179 this season with a .458 OPS over 94 plate appearances. I’m not sure the Braves improved with this move, and I believe they could have made better use of this roster spot without having to give up much at all. Given the inconsistencies of Marcell Ozuna and Eddie Rosario, adding a better offensive threat that can play the outfield would have made more sense than bringing back Adrianza.
Brave acquire Robbie Grossman for Kris Anglin
Once again, the Braves didn’t have to give up much to acquire Grossman. Anglin was a 16th-round pick in the 2021 draft, and if he ever reaches the majors, it won’t be for a long time. But unlike the Adrianza addition, I’m much more fond of Robbie Grossman.
Grossman is barely hitting over the Mendoza Line, but he specializes in crushing left-handed pitching. On the season, he has a .364 average and .999 OPS against lefties over 77 at-bats. That should serve well in a platoon with Eddie Rosario, but I still think the Braves could have done a much better job overall upgrading their outfield, which was their most glaring need going into the trade deadline.
Braves acquire Jake Odorizzi for Will Smith
This trade should be hung in the Hall of Fame, and sometimes, I wonder how Alex Anthopoulos makes it look so easy. It was well past time for Will Smith to find a new home, and I even suggested designating him for assignment and eating the remainder of his contract. But somehow, Anthopoulos was not only able to find a taker for his contract, but he was also able to add a worthwhile starting pitcher in the process.
Odorizzi might not be the frontline arm some Braves fans were hoping for, but that’s not really what this team needs. He’s been a steady innings eater over his career and carries a 3.75 ERA through 12 starts this season. If Ian Anderson continues to struggle, Odorizzi serves as a viable backup plan to fill in as the fifth starter, or he can occupy the long relief role. I love this move for the Braves.
Braves acquire Raisel Iglesias for Jesse Chavez and Tucker Davidson
Anthopoulos has become the king of making deals at the buzzer, and he did it again this year by trading for Angels closer Raisel Iglesias. This move has a lot of parts. On the surface, Iglesias is not having the best of years, but his peripherals suggest he could be a fantastic piece down the stretch. He has some of the best swing-and-miss stuff in the game and will be another powerful arm for Brian Snitker to utilize in high-leverage situations.
The return for Los Angeles is pennies for a reliever of Iglesias’ caliber. Chavez was having a nice year, but regression was always likely to hit him in the face at some point. Davidson was one of the Braves better pitching prospects, and I’m a little sad to see him go, but the Braves have a logjam of starting pitchers. It was probably best for both parties to go in a different direction.
The curveball in this trade is that Iglesias is still under contract for three more years, costing the Braves another $48 million after this season. A couple of years ago, that was not a contract the Braves would have even thought about scooping up, but this just goes to show how well things are going for the organization financially. The days of the Braves being known for penny-pinching are long gone, and that excites me more than anything.
For the most part, I liked the Braves moves. The additions of Iglesias and Odorizzi give them arguably the best pitching staff in baseball from top to bottom, which should pay substantial dividends down the stretch and into the postseason. However, I think Anthopoulos made a pretty egregious error by not addressing the outfield a bit more. I would have liked to have added at least one more starting-caliber bat, and I think that could come back to haunt the Braves later on.
Thanks for reading about my grades for the Braves trade deadline. How would you rate Alex Anthopoulos’ performance this year?
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