Where does the Braves front office rank among MLB teams?

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The Braves have been without three All-Stars, including their ace, for most of the season, and the top of their lineup, which features three MVP candidates, has yet to really find its footing. Despite that, they still hold MLB’s best record at 17-6 with a three-game lead in the NL East, a testament to the job Alex Anthopoulos and his front office have done over the last several years.

Not only did the Braves come into the 2024 campaign with no holes on the roster, they had a few extra plugs lying around in case of emergency. Travis d’Arnaud is the best backup catcher in baseball. The platoon of Jarred Kelenic and Adam Duvall has proven to be an upgrade over Eddie Rosario and Kevin Pillar thus far. Reynaldo Lopez has become a full-time starter again for the first time since 2019 and is pitching like he wants to win the NL Cy Young award. If the front of the lineup is slumping, the rest of the guys are more than capable of picking up the slack.

It’s why the Braves have been at the forefront of the sport for nearly a decade, and they just seem to keep getting better with each passing season. Alex Anthopolous doesn’t only deserve to be in the conversation of the best general managers in baseball. He’s one of the best GMs in all of sports; however, there are some arguments to be made for some others around the league as well.

In a recent poll from The Athletic, 40 executives were polled on the top front offices across baseball, and Alex Anthopoulos’ bunch ranked third, behind the Dodgers and Rays.

No. 3 — Atlanta Braves

Total points: 130
First-place votes: 3

President of baseball operations: Alex Anthopoulos


Alex Anthopoulos likes to refer to his two years with the Dodgers in 2016 and 2017 as a form of baseball graduate school. He had been a successful executive with the Toronto Blue Jays, ending the franchise’s 21-year postseason drought in 2015 before walking away from the gig that winter. He had always been, as one executive put it, “very aggressive” in his willingness to deal. When he took over the Braves heading in 2018, he married that quality with wisdom gleaned from his previous stops.

“Alex Anthopoulos does a tremendous job,” one executive said. “There’s nobody more engaged, open and honest about things. He’s had stops along the way and he’s adapted and learned over time.”

He has built something of a juggernaut in Atlanta through a series of canny trades and swift contract extensions for cornerstones like Ronald Acuña Jr., Ozzie Albies, Austin Riley, Matt Olson and Sean Murphy. After winning the World Series in 2021, Anthopoulos pivoted out of talks with first baseman Freddie Freeman and swung a trade for Olson. The maneuver stunned the industry but further demonstrated Anthopoulos’ decisiveness.

“Alex Anthopoulos knows what he wants and moves quickly in the offseason,” one executive said.

Some executives raised questions about whether the team will continue to draft well now that former scouting director Dana Brown has left to run the Astros. The good news for the Braves: With all those long-term extensions, the roster won’t require much mending for a while.

It’s hard to argue with what the Rays and Dodgers have done. Tampa Bay has just about the least amount of money to work with in the league, yet they continue to stay relevant in one of the most competitive divisions in baseball because of their unbelievable development in the minors and savvy trades that they have to make because of their refusal to pay multiple stars.

The Dodgers have been the class of baseball for over a decade now. They are constantly one of, if not the best team in the league, and a lot of that has to do with their ability to spend more than anyone. However, it’s more than just that. They develop players at a rate few organizations can match, which, combined with their money, makes them a juggernaut year after year.

Still, I wouldn’t put either of those organizations ahead of the Braves. Simply because there hasn’t been a single aspect in which the Braves haven’t excelled since Alex Anthopoulos took over as general manager ahead of the 2018 season.

Anthopoulos has become notorious for extending his stars early, locking them into team-friendly deals, which have all panned out to this point. He’s made many more good trades than questionable ones, and nearly all of his free agent deals have been knocked out of the park. The Braves have also been among the best in baseball at drafting and developing, sending star after star to the majors at a very young age.

About the only knock on the Braves currently is their farm system, which hasn’t been near the top of the league for a few years now. However, that’s the price of graduations and blockbuster trades. The point of the farm system is to get guys to the majors as quickly as possible. Nobody has been better at that than the Braves in recent years, and I have little doubt anything is going to change in the future.

Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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