Braves: The Athletic names this Atlanta player one of the biggest losers of the offseason

Braves injuries

With most of the marquee free agents off the board, the Braves have been among the quietest teams this offseason. That’s not necessarily unanticipated; Atlanta entered the winter with one of the most complete rosters in the league. They also already have the highest payroll going into the season in franchise history. The Braves were never going to be one of the bigger spenders this offseason, but they did make one blockbuster trade, acquiring Gold Glove catcher Sean Murphy from the Athletics.

The move to bring in Murphy is mildly perplexing, given Atlanta already had one of the most potent catching duos in William Contreras and Travis d’Arnaud. Contreras is now a member of the Brewers, but d’Arnaud remains in Atlanta, presumably set to serve as Murphy’s backup. That’s a tough break for a player coming off a career year in which he was named an All-Star, and it’s why Jim Bowden of The Athletic recently named d’Arnaud the third biggest loser of this offseason.

D’Arnaud helped the Braves win a world championship in 2021 and he’s respected in the organization for his game-calling as well as his clutch hitting. However, Atlanta traded for Sean Murphy, an elite defensive catcher who is under team control for three more seasons, and now d’Arnaud will split his time between catching and DHing. Of course, that’s just the immediate plan, as most people believe Murphy will become the everyday catcher and d’Arnaud, who is signed for one more year, will eventually be traded.

The Braves have reiterated on several occasions they will not be trading d’Arnaud. He remains one of the better catchers in the league, and the organization puts an incredibly high value on the position. But this is a tough break for someone as talented as d’Arnaud, even if he’s far too much of a team player to let it affect his mindset.

I don’t necessarily disagree with Bowden’s assessment, outside of the part where he says d’Arnaud will be traded. The Braves have already shut down that possibility several times. However, I think the Braves as a team have to be viewed as one of the bigger losers of the offseason. Their roster remains among the best in baseball, but losing out on Dansby Swanson is a massive blow, and the Braves have yet to upgrade in left field. They’ve spent less than $1 million on free agents. The acquisition of Murphy was nice, but I wouldn’t blame anybody that says the Braves got worse so far this winter. That’s not something teams with championship aspirations aim to do during the offseason.

Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: