The Athletic believes Braves have moves to make this offseason

MLB: OCT 10 NL Division Series Braves Practice

If you told me Alex Anthopoulos hasn’t slept since the end of the 2023 season, I would believe it. The Braves general manager has swung a plethora of trades — both major and minor — in an attempt to create the best 40-man roster possible. There have been upgrades to the bullpen, the rotation, and he’s even filled the one hole that existed in the lineup, acquiring Jarred Kelenic from the Mariners. As currently constructed, the Braves are poised to challenge anyone for the title of the best team in baseball, but are they done making moves this offseason?

According to The Athletic’s Chad Jennings and Stephen J. Nesbitt, the Braves still have work left to do this offseason. The two recently went through all 30 MLB teams and placed them into six categories — priorities achieved, making progress, spinning tires, still salvageable, from postseason to paralysis, and where are they heading? The Braves fell under the making progress category.

The Braves might belong in the Priorities Achieved group, but it’s a little hard to tell what their priorities were heading into the offseason. They’ve made eight trades, often for players who were either immediately released (Matt Carpenter), immediately outrighted (David Fletcher), or quickly flipped to another team (Marco Gonzalez, Evan White, Max Stassi). It’s been a head-spinning sequence of events, but it’s netted a high-upside starter (Chris Sale), a veteran reliever (Aaron Bummer) and a new left fielder (Jarred Kalenic). Weird, but maybe effective for a team that was already one of the World Series favorites. It’d be easier to buy into this offseason plan if the Braves had wound up with a front-line starter and not such a risky one as Sale.

“Risk” is the word often thrown around when talking about the Braves offseason due to their acquisition of Chris Sale, who really hasn’t been healthy since 2019 and hasn’t made an All-Star team since 2018. That kind of injury risk is notable, but the Braves made their decision when it comes to their rotation.

Alex Anthopoulos deemed the asking price for the top starters available on the trade market to be too much, and he’s never been one to hand out long-term, lucrative contracts to free agents.

So he pivoted to a buy-low candidate in Sale. The injury history is concerning, but he’s healthy entering the offseason for the first time in four years, and despite the injuries, he still proved to be a strikeout maestro when on the mound for the Red Sox last year. A healthy Chris Sale gives Atlanta one of the top rotations in the league to go along with a bullpen that has been significantly upgraded this offseason and an offense that was one of the best in baseball history a year ago.

I don’t envision the Braves making many more splashes this offseason. The only area that has to be addressed before the start of next season is the addition of a fourth outfielder. It likely will be someone that can potentially platoon with Jarred Kelenic in left field in the event that he doesn’t experience the breakout that everyone is hoping for as he moves across the coast.

Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire


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