Braves All-Stars highlighted by offseason acquisitions

MLB: APR 02 Braves at White Sox

On Sunday afternoon, the All-Star reserves were announced for each league. The Braves didn’t have any players selected to start, and I’m not sure anybody would have believed you at the beginning of the season if you said Atlanta’s only three All-Stars are going to be Chris Sale, Reynaldo Lopez, and Marcell Ozuna. But that’s exactly who will be representing the Braves in Texas in a week.

As far as snubs, I’m not sure the Braves had any. Max Fried had a case to be included, but there are just so many damn good pitchers in the league and not enough spots. The same could be said for a couple of the Braves relievers, namely Jesse Chavez and Raisel Iglesias. But again, the amount of talented bullpen arms across the league deserving of an All-Star nod looks like a CVS receipt.

Offensively, the only Braves player that should have been considered was Marcell Ozuna, and he’ll be heading to his third All-Star Game. But the real story is Chris Sale and Reynaldo Lopez, who Alex Anthopoulos acquired during the offseason for pennies.

Sale was brought in via trade, and all the Braves had to give up was Vaughn Grissom, who didn’t have a place to play in Atlanta. On top of that, the Red Sox are paying nearly his entire salary this season.

Lopez, who hadn’t been used as a starting pitcher in five years, inked a three-year, $30 million contract with the Braves, and most everybody expected him to be used as a reliever. But Alex Anthopoulos, as he does so often, saw something in him that nobody else even considered. It started out as a fun experiment with some upside; now, Reynaldo Lopez is MLB’s ERA leader and heading to the first All-Star Game of his career.

Alex Anthopoulos is far from infallible. He’s certainly made some mistakes during his Braves tenure. With that being said, he’s done infinitely more good for the organization than bad, and this past offseason is just the latest example of his brilliance.

Photo: Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire

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