Jim Bowden grades the Braves trade deadline

MLB: JUL 31 Angels at Braves

Jim Bowden of The Athletic recently handed grades out to all 30 MLB teams for their performance at the trade deadline. Here’s what he had to say about the Braves.

Atlanta Braves

Grade: B

Key takeaways: The Braves have the best team in baseball and didn’t want to disrupt their clubhouse at the deadline, especially considering they had few needs outside of depth for the pitching staff and bench. Sometimes the best trades are the ones you don’t make so you don’t alter a winning clubhouse. That’s the case here, which is why I gave the Braves a good grade. I also thought it was a worthwhile gamble to see if they can get Pierce Johnson pitching like he did with the Padres in 2020 and 2021, and I loved the Nicky Lopez pickup, which gives them a plus-plus defender coming off the bench who can play all four infield positions along with the outfield. I also loved the contract extension they gave Travis d’Arnaud because of how valuable he is as a backup catcher, occasional DH and clubhouse leader, not to mention how clutch he’s been in big games.

Some might consider the Braves losers at the trade deadline, but I think they won. Look around the National League; nobody upgraded significantly.

The Braves were the best team in baseball before the trade deadline, and it remains that way today. In fact, they are even further ahead of everyone else than they were prior to the deadline because Max Fried is scheduled to return on Friday. Not to mention, Dylan Lee, Jesse Chavez, and Kyle Wright are all expected to come back before the end of the season.

Alex Anthopoulos went about things the right way. He didn’t overpay for a need that was non-existent, and he upgraded on the margins. The Braves are in an ideal position to win a World Series this year, and they will be in a much better position moving forward as they continue to rebuild what has become a barren farm system. This was a good trade deadline for the team, even if it wasn’t as flashy as many had hoped.

Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire
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