Will past decisions affect Alex Anthopoulos’ plans at the trade deadline?

Anthopoulos MLB Trade Deadline

Many people say starting pitching is the #1 need for the Braves at the trade deadline.

I wouldn’t disagree, but I also think it’s unlikely Alex Anthopoulos makes a big move for rotation help over the next week. It’s not his MO, at least from previous trade deadlines. Anthopoulos is all about value, and finding value while trying to acquire starting pitching this time of year is next to impossible. Every team is looking for another piece to their rotation. Not to mention, it’s a seller’s market with so many teams still in playoff contention.

However, is it possible Alex Anthopoulos has had regrets about not making a move for starting pitching at previous trade deadlines and finally makes a splash this year?

Let’s go back to 2020. The Braves were starting the likes of Tommy Milone, Robbie Erlin, and a slew of young pitchers — like Kyle Wright, Bryse Wilson, Touki Toussaint, and Huascar Ynoa. The only two pitchers that had any success were Max Fried and Ian Anderson, yet the Braves opted not to upgrade at the deadline. That led to them starting Wright, Wilson, and even A.J. Minter in the NLCS, where they fell in seven games to the Dodgers. Had the Braves made a move then, there’s a very good chance we would be talking about them going for their third World Series in the last four seasons in 2023.

That brings us to last year, which is much more like this season. The Braves didn’t have a glaring hole for a starting pitcher, but there were some concerns about the back-end. Anthopoulos went the cheap route with Jake Odorizzi, who didn’t pan out. Which might have been fine… had Max Fried not gotten terribly sick heading into the playoffs, and Spencer Strider didn’t suffer an oblique injury. With two of their guys hobbled, the Phillies had a field day with Atlanta’s starting pitching, sending the Braves home early in the NLDS.

Now, I would be remiss if I didn’t bring in the 2021 season when the Braves did win it all. They once again chose not to add starting pitching at the trade deadline and essentially went into the playoffs with a three-man rotation of Charlie Morton, Max Fried, and Ian Anderson. To make matters worse, Morton suffered a fractured fibula in Game 1 of the World Series, forcing the Braves to start Dylan Lee and Tucker Davidson, who had made a combined four starts in their career. Despite that, the Braves defeated the Astros in six games.

Like most things, there are two sides to every story. When fully healthy, this is the best rotation the Braves have had since the rebuild. But will they ever be fully healthy? Does Alex Anthopoulos take that risk again? We will know in less than a week.

Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: