The Atlanta Braves have made some rather unpopular moves among MLB fans, sometimes even their own.
But the fact that they have built a sustainable contender can’t be denied.
Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos even delivered the franchise’s first World Series since 1995, and that has enormous value.
Yes, the Braves were not reportedly all that interested in bringing back franchise legend Freddie Freeman in 2022 and he ended up signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers; and they also signed stars Ronald Acuna Jr. and Ozzie Albies to well under-market contracts.
But Anthopoulos and the Braves are showing they care about winning, and they work with that goal in mind.
Yes, everybody, including Freeman’s camp, could have managed the situation better, but we can’t really blame the Braves for opting for a younger, slightly cheaper first baseman in Matt Olson.
The Braves Are Prepared To Make Unpopular Decisions If They Think They Help
We can discuss the way things were done, sure, but the sole fact of going with Olson is not a bad baseball decision.
It was surprising, yes, but with the dust settled somewhat, it’s understandable.
“I didn’t think it were possible for the Braves to lose Freddie Freeman and for fans to still be happy in the same week, but it happened. The Alex Anthopoulos Effect,” beat writer Justin Toscano tweeted on Sunday night.
I didn’t think it were possible for the Braves to lose Freddie Freeman and for fans to still be happy in the same week, but it happened.
The Alex Anthopoulos Effect ™️
— Justin Toscano (@JustinCToscano) March 21, 2022
In the end, Acuna is on his way back from knee surgery, Albies is an underrated star, Austin Riley blossomed into a contributor last year, and Olson should mash for several more years.
Overall, we can say the Braves are stronger and will challenge the New York Mets for the NL East title.