Alex Anthopoulos might have been the busiest man in America over the last 72 hours. He completed the trade with the Athletics that brought home Matt Olson and extended him through the 2029 season. Then he signed one of the best relievers in baseball—Colin McHugh—before bringing back Eddie Rosario on a two-year deal. Those three will all be significant pieces for at least the next two years, but Anthopoulos also made a couple of under-the-radar moves on Wednesday afternoon.
For the most part, this offseason has been all about major signings, but Anthopoulos is the best GM in baseball because he can find value everywhere. There are countless examples of guys he has signed out of nowhere who have ended up becoming significant contributors. Jesse Chavez and Ehire Adrianza fit that description from last year’s World Series team, and Dickerson could have a similar impact this season.
From 2019 to 2020, Dickerson appeared in 120 games and was a well-above-average offensive player, batting .286 with 16 homers — good for an OPS+ of 134. He wasn’t nearly as productive last season, posting an OPS+ of 95, or 5% below league-average, but that’s allowed the Braves to pick him up at a bargain. Alex Anthopoulos signed him to a non-guaranteed $1 million contract, but I would be pretty shocked if he didn’t end up making the team.
With Ronald Acuña not expected to return until May, the Braves need all the outfielders they can get, and they could also use Dickerson’s left-handed pop off the bench. Even in a down year, he mashed 13 homers in 111 games. As far as bang for your buck is concerned, the Braves found fantastic value in Dickerson.
Thornburg was also added to the Braves 40-man roster yesterday, inking a non-guaranteed contract worth just under $1 million. He’ll compete for a spot in Atlanta’s bullpen, but I’m much less bullish on him making the final 26-man roster. The Braves’ relief core just got a huge boost by adding Colin McHugh, and Thornburg will have to compete with a lot of young arms to earn a spot.
Injuries have brought Thornburg’s career to a screeching halt. He missed the entire 2017 season and has only appeared in 48 games since, but he did have some decent numbers in the seven games he pitched last year, recording a 3.86 ERA with a much more impressive 2.48 FIP and 12.9 K/9. I think it will take a lot for him to make the Opening Day roster, but I wouldn’t count it out. Even if he doesn’t, there’s a chance the Braves could stash him in the minor leagues, and he could make an impact later in the season.
Photo: Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire
You must log in to post a comment.