There isn’t much for Braves fans to complain about when it comes to Alex Anthopoulos. He’s locked up his entire young core at team-friendly rates for the foreseeable future, and he’s been a wizard at filling in around those pieces through trades.
Most notably, Anthopoulos acquired Matt Olson a couple of offseasons ago. The Braves new first baseman didn’t have the best first season in Atlanta but followed it up with a career year where he blasted an MLB leading 54 homers with 139 RBIs.
The very next offseason, Anthopoulos swung another blockbuster trade with the Oakland Athletics, acquiring Sean Murphy, who was an All-Star in his first season with the Braves. Murphy’s second half left a lot to be desired, and William Contreras, who Anthopoulos sent to Milwaukee in the deal, looks like a bright young star at the catcher position, but nobody is complaining in Atlanta.
The deals were so lopsided in favor of the Braves, that it led Oakland’s GM to recently say, “I told Alex to lose my number.”
It was said in a joking manner, but in every good joke lies a little bit of the truth.
However, Alex Anthopoulos has completed a plethora of other trades that have gone on to work in the Braves favor. Joe Jimenez, Raisel Iglesias, and Pierce Johnson have proven to be fantastic additions to the bullpen, and who can forget the 2021 trade deadline, when Atlanta acquired Jorge Soler, Joc Pederson, and Adam Duvall — who led the Braves to their first World Series since 1995 — for basically nothing.
Alex Anthopoulos has proven to be as savvy as they come at wheeling and dealing prospects for players who can help out the major-league club, and the numbers back it up.
When looking at the percentage of trades completed by general managers that have resulted in a net WAR above 0, Anthopoulos leads the league with a hit rate of 66.7%
Here's another way to look at trades by GM's Hire Date.
How many trades did they complete where the net WAR is above 0? While Preller may have an overall net gain per trade, his trades hit at a 40.8% rate.
— Robert Frey (@RobertFrey40) November 7, 2023
The Braves don’t have a lot of prospect capital to work with after all of these trades and graduations, but Alex Anthopoulos has proven it doesn’t take top prospects to land high quality players. Free agency hasn’t been where he’s done his best work, and I wouldn’t expect that to change this offseason. Watch out for the Braves in the trade market this winter.
Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire