Attrition is inevitable in sports, which is why creating a sustainable winner is one of the most difficult things to do in any profession. The Braves run of recent dominance is a testament to the job Alex Anthopoulos and the rest of the front office have done over the years. They remain the class of the National League, despite a large chunk of their World Series roster from 2021 playing elsewhere.
This past offseason was very similar to the one a year ago. A face of the franchise departed, and several other critical pieces found new homes. Let’s take a look at how those players have performed early on this season in their new threads.
Jansen gave Braves fans a heart attack far too many times to count last season, but he still led the league in saves and was one of the better relievers in baseball. I would have loved to have him back, and so far in Boston, he’s tossed three scoreless innings with a 12.0 K/9 and two saves.
I’m not sure what happened in discussions with Adam Duvall and Braves. He ended up signing a one-year, $7 million offer with the Red Sox. Perhaps he just wanted to play for another team where he was guaranteed more playing time, but if the Braves made the decision not to retain him for that amount, it was an idiotic one. You would think Alex Anthopoulos would have learned his lesson when he chose to non-tender him a few offseasons ago and then had to trade back for him at the deadline. With Boston, Duvall began the season on fire, hitting 10 extra-base hits, including four homers, in just eight games. Unfortunately, he fractured his wrist and will miss the next few months, but damn, would he look good in left field right now for the Braves.
Muller was apart of the trade that landed the Braves Sean Murphy. He was named Oakland’s Opening Day starter, but it’s been an up-and-down start to the season. Muller owns a 5.52 ERA and 4.43 FIP over his first three outings.
Another piece of the Sean Murphy trade, William Contreras, somehow ended up in Milwaukee, and he’s off to a pretty good start at the plate. His plus-power hasn’t flashed yet for the Brewers — recording just one extra-base hit — but he’s hitting .310.
Grossman had some clutch moments for the Braves last season after he was acquired at the trade deadline, but he’s been dormant through the early part of the season for the Rangers, accruing -0.6 WAR, which is almost unimaginable after just 10 games.
Davidson landed with the Angels in the deal that sent Raisel Iglesias to the Braves. He struggled with the big-league club last year, but he’s off to a promising start through 2023, boasting a 2.57 ERA out of the bullpen over seven innings.
Everybody’s favorite Brave, Will Smith, has landed with the Rangers, and he’s off to a fantastic start. The southpaw owns a 1.93 ERA and 11.6 K/9 with one save over 4.2 innings.
A lot was made about Dansby Swanson’s struggles during Spring Training, but he’s picked up right where he left off last season in Chicago. He’s hitting .400 while playing fantastic defense at the shortstop position, accruing 0.8 WAR in just 10 games. I don’t think the Braves should have ponied up the $177 million to retain him, but the Cubs got a good one, and I’m happy to see him doing well.
Photo: John Smolek/Icon Sportswire
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