Braves: Alex Anthopoulos on not trading for jerks

Braves trade deadline

For all of the faults Liberty Media seemed to have several years ago, they’ve really built one of the most outstanding organizations in all of sports because of its structure.

Truist Park is arguably the best new stadium to go watch a baseball game. The atmosphere is second to none, from The Battery to inside the stadium. It has been a resounding success since its inception in 2017, and as attendance records continue to tumble year after year, the payroll has risen to new highs with each passing season. Ownership is putting their money where their mouth is, but perhaps even more importantly, they have given Alex Anthopoulos full autonomy to pull all of the strings.

Since joining the organization in the winter of 2017, Anthopoulos has pushed all the right buttons. The results have been six straight NL East titles and a World Series in the trophy case. Even better, there are no signs of the success slowing down. From the draft, to the development of young talent, to the team friendly deals and the under the radar signings, Anthopoulos can seemingly do no wrong. He has the full trust of the entire organization, and as Spencer Strider said over the weekend, anybody who is still doubting him hasn’t been paying attention.

But sometimes what is even more fascinating are the moves Alex Anthopoulos doesn’t make. Oftentimes, those decisions to pass can be even more critical to the long-term success of the Braves than the moves that are completed.

In the past, teams have attempted to trade for the likes of Ronald Acuña Jr, Austin Riley, Ozzie Albies, and a slew of other Braves stars. Had Anthopoulos been impatient, the Braves might not be in the position they are today.

More recently, however, Alex Anthopoulos was on 680 The Fan discussing a potential trade that didn’t come to fruition at this year’s trade deadline. AA said the player could have helped them in their quest for a second World Series in three years, but his reason for passing on the deal was that a current player wasn’t fond of the potential trade candidate based on their experience together in the past.

The entire conversation is fascinating, but this shouldn’t come as news to people who follow the Braves closely.

I say it several times every season, but an underrated advantage the Braves have had every year over 95% of their opponents is the guys on the team genuinely love each other and enjoy playing together. It may sound simple, but it’s not commonplace in every clubhouse and is vital to success over such a long season where players are spending nearly eight months out of the year with each other.

It’s yet another aspect of being a general manager that Alex Anthopoulos seems to have mastered. He takes everything into consideration and is not going to make a splash for a player without doing his homework. Now, I’m just dying to know who this mystery player is, and what he might have done in the past to prevent the Braves from pulling the trigger on a trade for him.

Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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