Since the Atlanta Braves hired Alex Anthopoulos as their new General Manager, he has made an immediate impact on the franchise with the help of his pals in Los Angeles.
Over half of the deals and acquisitions (4 out of 7) that Anthopoloulos has made as the Atlanta Braves GM have been with two teams in Los Angeles: the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Los Angeles Angels. Anthopoulos using his connections in Los Angeles was something that I didn’t expect, but the fact that it happened is a blessing for Braves Country.
List of transactions made so far:
- Traded cash to the Los Angeles Dodgers for RHP Josh Ravin.
- Claimed Grant Dayton off of waivers from the Los Angeles Dodgers.
- Traded RHP Jim Johnson and INTL signing money to the Los Angeles Angels for LHP Justin Kelly.
- Claimed RHP Chase Whitley off of waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays.
- Claimed Anyelo Gomez off of waivers from the New York Yankees.
- Traded LF Matt Kemp to the Los Angeles Dodgers for 1B Adrian Gonzalez, LHP Scott Kazmir, RHP Brandon McCarthy, SS Charlie Culberson, and cash.
- Traded a PTBNL (player to be named later) to the Houston Astros for LF Preston Tucker.
The most notable trade that Alex Anthopoulos made was making room for Ronald Acuna on the big league roster by trading away Matt Kemp. This available spot in left field could be covered by Nick Markakis, a free agent signing, or a player acquired in a trade. Nonetheless, Anthopoulos has created a spot for the rising superstar when he gets the call up.
Anthopoulos managed to dump Kemp and his $21.5mil back in his place of stardom in LA, and along the way picked up a starting pitcher in Brandon McCarthy, a potential bullpen arm in Scott Kazmir, and a super utility guy in Charlie Culberson. Getting all 3 of these pieces in return for Kemp was something I did not think was possible, but Anthopoulos somehow made it happen.
Anthopoulos’ first trade to get rid of a Braves player was done with Jim Johnson, who was becoming disliked due to his poor performance out of the bullpen. What I liked about this Jim Johnson trade the most is the fact that Anthopoulos sent the rest of the Braves international signing money to the Angels, which ultimately assisted the Angels in their acquisition of Shohei Ohtani.
It also showed that Alex Anthopoulos is trying to do what he can to function despite lingering penalties from the John Coppolella scandal, and will do what he can to stop the pain Braves Country is still feeling. Using international signing money to get rid of Jim Johnson along with his entire contract while the talks of Shohei Ohtani were at its peak was an ingenious move by Anthropoulos.
The addition of Ravin, Dayton, Whitley, Kelly, and Gomez creates quality bullpen depth for the Braves. Adding these extra arms shows that Anthropoulos is acquiring bullpen arms for a low price to establish the bullpen by trades and the minor league system, rather than spending a large amount of money on big time relievers in free agency.
More from Tomahawk Take
- Atlanta Braves 2023 Preseason Top 30 Prospects List: 1-5
- Braves News: Braves acquire Diaz, moves around the division, more
- Atlanta Braves 2012 Top Prospects Review: J.R. Graham
- Atlanta Braves Acquire Lewin Diaz from the Orioles
- Atlanta Braves 2023 Preseason Top 30 Prospects List: 6-10
Finally, the trade that landed the Braves Preston Tucker from the Houston Astros creates an interesting dynamic for the Braves to tinker with.
Tucker may only facilitate a bench roll for the Braves, but he will get to Atlanta one way or another. Tucker will eventually be provided the opportunity to challenge other players for a starting position in left field, but I hope the Braves can land a talented left fielder before Lane Adams and Preston Tucker begin competing for the starting position in left field.
To this day, we still do not know who the PTBNL is in the Preston Tucker trade, which is slightly concerning because we have no idea what level of talent we gave up for the young, power-hitting lefty.
Either way, Anthopoulos has been making some high quality moves in a short period of time for the Braves, and the point in time where the Braves will be serious competitors is approaching much sooner thanks to Anthopoulos.