Atlanta Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos’ views on the offseason so far
By Fred Owens
The Atlanta Braves offseason so far consists of adding depth pieces, upgrading the catching tandem, and replacing a power arm in the bullpen.
Yesterday the Atlanta Braves learned that Dansby Swanson had agreed a seven-year, $177M contract with the Cubs. Both the Braves and Swanson did what they had to do.
This morning Mark Bowman confirmed (Twitter link) that the Braves didn’t increase their $100M offer from last offseason. My take is that when the Braves contacted his agent, they found he was already receiving offers far enough beyond that $100M. Atlanta was out of the running at that point, and another offer was pointless.
The Braves might have gone to their upper limit in contracts of $22M a year, but not seven years. At that rare, Swanson would have left roughly $67M on the table to stay in Atlanta.
The Atlanta Braves model didn’t fit Swanson.
On Sirius/XM Radio’s Front Office show this morning, Jim Bowden had one of his insightful moments and explained why the Braves were right not to overpay for Swanson.
Before the interview, Bowden suggested that Anthopoulos’ plan for building the franchise based on signing young players early to team-friendly contracts would collapse if he then turns signs Swanson to a contract well beyond the going rate.
Such a move effectively tells the young players who gave up two years of free agency and the potential for a bigger payday they made a mistake and end any hopes of future deals like those given to Acuna Jr., Albies, Olson, Riley, and Harris.