Yet another trade seems to be working out for Braves, Alex Anthopoulos

MLB: MAY 08 Red Sox at Braves

Alex Anthopoulos has earned a reputation as one of the best GMs in sports because of the work he’s done to build the Braves into World Series contenders for a decade.

AA has made his bones by extending stars early, beginning with Ronald Acuna Jr. and Ozzie Albies. It continued with Austin Riley, Spencer Strider, and Michael Harris II while expanding to trades with Matt Olson and Sean Murphy.

However, it’s been the smaller moves that have also contributed to the Braves’ success, as Ray Kerr could potentially be for Atlanta down the stretch this season and in the future.

Anthopolous took a different approach this offseason, acquiring talented players from clubs that wanted to dump them for salary purposes. It was headlined by Jarred Kelenic, but the Braves also traded for Ray Kerr, essentially paying for Matt Carpenter’s contract to acquire the left-handed reliever.

In 27.0 innings of work at the MLB level in 2023, Kerr had an ERA of 4.33 and a FIP of 4.18. In terms of ERA+, he was 5% worse than league average. However, in AAA he had an exceptional 2.25 ERA in 36.0 innings. At both levels, he was able to rack up punchouts, striking out 30.7% of hitters in MLB (11.7 per nine innings), and 29.0% in AAA.

Kerr has some exciting stuff, and he made his Braves debut last week against the Red Sox, but it was his outing last night against the Cubs that has fans excited about his potential role in the bullpen.

Against Boston, Kerr sat down the side, logging a strikeout. Against Chicago, Kerr retired all six batters faced in the sixth and seventh innings, including three strikeouts and two groundouts. His fastball sat around 97 and the curve looked nasty.

The Braves acquired Ray Kerr by taking on $4 million of Matt Carpenter’s contract. The 29-year-old has options and is under team control until 2030. It’s yet another trade that could end up working out for Alex Anthopoulos and the Braves.

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire
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