For better or worse, this past offseason will go down as one of the most memorable in franchise history. The parting ways with Freddie Freeman, which was triggered by the blockbuster trade that brought Matt Olson to Atlanta, could be what propels the Braves to another World Series or why the championship window shuts much quicker than expected. We won’t know the answer for years, but so far, both the Braves and Athletics are reaping the rewards.
Olson has been incredible to watch. His numbers entering Wednesday — .474/.630/.737 — are staggering, but his approach has been what I’ve been most impressed by. The guy just doesn’t swing at bad pitches and is a pain in the butt to get out every time he gets in the batter’s box. Olson will eventually cool down, but it’s overwhelmingly evident the Braves got a great one, and they have him for the next 8+ seasons on a very team-friendly contract. Given the team’s current championship window, Olson is exactly what the doctor ordered.
But from the early looks, the A’s could also very well end up with fond feelings for this trade. Cristian Pache has started the season on the major-league club and has done much better than the way he started 2021. He’s hitting .267 while displaying the elite defense that made him such a highly-touted prospect. But even more eye-popping has been the stats Shea Langeliers is putting up in AAA.
Langeliers was the one prospect in the organization I really didn’t want to part ways with, and he’s showing everybody why to begin the season. In just five games, he’s already cranked three homers to go along with his .316 average and 1.140 OPS. The bat has come along much better than most expected, and it’s not even the best part of his game. He would already be an above-average major-league catcher if he were called up today, and at this rate, it won’t be long before he is.
This is something I’ll be keeping tabs on throughout the season and beyond. However, you’ll never find me cheering against Pache or Langeliers. Both are fantastic young men with bright futures, and I hope they perform to the best of their abilities. The Braves got exactly what they needed in Olson. Given where they are in their timeline, they should look at themselves as winners of the trade regardless.
Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire
You must log in to post a comment.