Braves: Alex Anthopoulos reiterates payroll will be going up in 2022

Braves Alex Anthopoulos

It might not seem like it after the Braves decided not to re-sign Freddie Freeman and instead trade for Matt Olson, but Alex Anthopoulos has remained consistent that payroll will be higher in 2022 than it was last year. He said it right after the Braves captured their first World Series since 1995, and he reiterated it yesterday while addressing the media following the trade for Olson.

How much higher is now the question. I would love to view this as a reason to back off Liberty Media, but payroll should be going up. The Braves were one of the best in the league when it came to attendance last year, and they made gobs of money off their World Series run. Spending less would be a slap in the face to the entire fan base.

With that being said, I don’t imagine payroll will go up too much higher. If it were, it’s likely Freddie Freeman would have a new contract by now, keeping him in Atlanta for the remainder of his career. Of course, there is the possibility Freeman didn’t want to return to the Braves, for whatever reason. Perhaps things between him and ownership became tense through negotiations, or maybe he did what he felt was best for his family. There are certainly other possibilities, but I have difficulty believing Freeman would have left had the Braves offered him anything similar to what other teams did.

Alex Anthopoulos is still working under the restrictions placed on him by Liberty Media. It’s apparent that’s never going to change, no matter how many World Series the Braves win. By going with Olson over Freeman, the Braves will save about $20 million this season, which should allow them to build a better all-around roster to repeat in 2022.

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