3 Braves moves that earned Alex Anthopoulos his extension

Alex Anthopoulos is going to be leading the Braves for a long time. In his case, it was well-earned.

Arizona Diamondbacks v Atlanta Braves
Arizona Diamondbacks v Atlanta Braves / Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/GettyImages
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Anthopoulos' conservative approach to free agency has paid big dividends

If there is one current criticism that Braves fans have of Anthopoulos, it is that he has been very reluctant to sign high end free agents to big money deals. That is simply undeniably true. The Braves have been connected to some top guys at times, but generally get out of the bidding pretty quickly once the money gets to a certain point. However, this is a feature, not a bug.

The problem with free agency these days is that it is a tremendously inefficient way to build a quality roster. Guys like Aaron Judge, Shohei Ohtani, Trea Turner, and others are genuinely great players, but they also cost so much by themselves that they can force teams to compromise other positions to make them fit on the payroll. The track of success there is also a bit questionable. The Dodgers have committed a TON of money over the last several years to their roster and they have just the one World Series win to show for it. Then there are the Mets whose dumpster fire of a 2023 season came after outbidding the league for basically everyone with Steve Cohen's money.

The Braves under Anthopoulos aren't running their team like they have the Rays' payroll, but they are set on how they value players and won't be influenced by FOMO to pay more than they are comfortable with. Few teams have been as good at giving out short term deals in terms of bang for their buck as Atlanta has in recent years. Charlie Morton and Josh Donaldson are just a couple of examples there.

Again, Anthopoulos hasn't been perfect because no front office is immune from misfires. The Cole Hamels deal was a disaster, Dallas Keuchel wasn't worth what the Braves paid him, and bringing back Marcell Ozuna looked terrible until he decided to remember how to hit again last year. On balance, though, AA's conservative approach to free agency has kept the Braves from taking on bad contracts unnecessarily and allowed them to use their money to keep the guys that have gotten them this far. No wonder the Braves want to keep him around.

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