Would Braves do the trade deadline differently if given the chance?

MLB: JUL 31 Angels at Braves

Many people praised the Angels when they decided not to sell at the MLB trade deadline, and instead acquired a number of players in exchange for a handful of their top prospects. On the other hand, Braves fans were up in arms about Alex Anthopoulos not acquiring a starter or bolstering the bullpen in a more significant fashion.

It was the perfect storm. Out west in Los Angeles, everyone was patting themselves on the back, even though they were actively losing ground in the Wild Card race while disregarding the insane cost to trade for a couple of pieces that weren’t needle-movers. On the east coast in Atlanta, Braves Country was losing their minds as the entire rotation decided to slump at the same time.

A month removed from the trade deadline, things look much different. As stated many times over, the Angels were fools to think they had any shot at the postseason or re-signing Shohei Ohtani. Now, they’ll have no Ohtani or prospects. For the Braves, everything is copacetic.

Charlie Morton looks like he could garner Cy Young votes, Spencer Strider has made a push for the actual crown, while the other two have bounced back nicely, and Kyle Wright is progressing toward a return. Everything is good in Atlanta after fans thought the world was falling because of a few bad weeks.

ESPN revisited the MLB trade deadline and is coming away with what Chase and I were saying weeks ago.

If we only knew then … Los Angeles would have done it all very differently.”

Yes, the Angels should’ve done things much differently. And for the Braves, it’s exactly what SportsTalkATL said… R-E-L-A-X:

Then: 15.7% shot at championship
Now: 15.9% shot at championship

Deadline direction: Gently added (acquired Nicky Lopez, Brad Hand, Pierce Johnson)

If we only knew then … Atlanta would have done things the same way.

The Braves didn’t need to do much and they didn’t. They had the best run differential in the majors leading up to the deadline; they have the best run differential in the majors since the deadline. With Ozzie Albies back from his hamstring injury and Kyle Wright working recently on a rehab assignment, the Braves should be in good shape for the stretch run. And while Atlanta added only at the margins, two of the players it picked up (Lopez and Johnson) have been fantastic. There’s nothing here that needs to be rethought.

Nicky Lopez has already proven his value, stepping in for an injured Ozzie Albies for a little over a week and contributing in a big way defensively while coming up with a few timely hits. Pierce Johnson looks fantastic since putting on a Braves uniform, owning a 0.64 ERA across 14 outings.

The roster was already the best in baseball. There was no need to swing for the fences and part ways with A.J. Smith-Shawver and Vaughn Grissom for *checks notes* Lucas Giolito. Once again, Alex Anthopoulos did the right thing. Sometimes, the best trades are those we don’t make.

Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire


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