How are the free agents that left the Braves faring in 2022?

2022 Braves trade deadline

There’s not much that is unfortunate about winning the World Series, but the turnover that inevitably happens can lead to a lot of second-guessing in hindsight. When you win, everybody wants a piece. Competing organizations attempt to pry away executives, coaches, and most importantly, players. It’s the nature of the beast, and it’s why repeating is so difficult. The last team to do so in baseball was the 2000 Yankees.

Following the 2021 World Series, the Braves had a ton of impending free agents. There was no way they would be able to pay all of them, forcing Alex Anthopoulos to make some gut-wrenching decision. The Braves let several key pieces of their team walk, including a former NL MVP in Freddie Freeman and the World Series MVP in Jorge Soler. It’s still too early to put a stamp on whether or not these were the right decisions, but at least so far, the Braves could have really used the production from some of these guys on the list.

Jorge Soler

Soler is a bat I really wanted back in Atlanta’s lineup, but after bringing back Duvall through arbitration and Rosario in free agency, the Braves chose to move on from the World Series MVP. Soler went on to sign a three-year, $36 million deal with the Marlins, and he’s lived up to it after a slow start. He currently has 12 homers and is sporting a .783 OPS on the season, but over his last 19 games, Soler has seven homers to go along with a 1.052 OPS.

Drew Smyly

It was always unlikely the Braves brought Drew Smyly back after a disappointing 2021, but he’s been decent for the Cubs this season, recording a 3.80 ERA over nine starts. That’s much better than what the Braves have gotten out of their fifth spot in the rotation this season. Still, in no way am I saying the Braves should have kept Smyly. It was the right decision to move on.

Chris Martin

Another member of the Cubs, Martin has also performed pretty well in Chicago. His 3.94 ERA over 18 appearances is meh, but his 2.89 FIP suggests some positive regression is in line.

Joc Pederson

This is where things begin to sting a bit. Pederson already has 13 bombs to go along with his .937 OPS in 45 games for the Giants. Because of that, he’s rightfully receiving All-Star consideration. However, Braves fans have to realize this was never about money to Pederson. He took less money to sign a one-year contract in San Francisco, which is where he is from, but more importantly, it is where he could play nearly every day. The Braves were never going to give him that guarantee, so Pederson remaining in Atlanta was always a long shot. For everything he did for the organization, I’m thrilled to watch him have success elsewhere, as long as it is not against the Braves.

Freddie Freeman

Losing Freeman will always be a sore spot in the heart of Braves Country. But from a baseball perspective, Matt Olson has been just as good. Freeman only has four homers on the season to go along with an .819 OPS. I fully expect him to heat up, but right now, his OPS would be the lowest mark of his career since 2012. Considering he’s only going to get older and regress over the course of his six-year contract with the Dodgers, perhaps going with the younger Olson, who is making significantly less than Freeman per season, was the correct decision.

Photo: Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire

Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: