3 tiny Braves trades by Alex Anthopoulos that have made a huge impact in 2024

Some of the smallest trades the Braves have made have still made a big difference to the team in 2024.
Oct 6, 2023; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos watches a workout
Oct 6, 2023; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos watches a workout / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves' front office led by Alex Anthopoulos has been one of the more active and more successful front offices in baseball. In addition to finding a way to extend so much of the Braves' young core, Anthopoulos and co. have made a lot of savvy free agent signings and big time trades that have turned the Braves into a juggernaut. Short of a big money free agent acquisition, they have done it all and have done it as well as anyone.

One of things that many forget, though, is that the Braves are notoriously great at turning relatively minor moves into important acquisitions. There are a lot of GMs that have made some splashy moves for big names (including Anthopoulos), but what separates the good from the great is being able to get the most out of every move including the little ones.

No front office gets every move right and the Braves have made their mistakes (trading for Lucas Luetge and Richard Rodriguez come to mind), but here are some of the seemingly tiny trades that the Braves have made that have made a huge difference in 2024.

Trading for Joe Jimenez

When the Braves' traded for Joe Jimenez back in December 2022, the move was more notable because some Braves fans were convinced that one of the prospects they gave up, Justyn-Henry Malloy, had showed some promise at the plate. However, Atlanta wanted to bolster their bullpen and Malloy's path to playing time back then was tough. Making the move even more sketchy was that Jimenez needed spinal surgery before he even threw a pitch for Atlanta.

Since joining the Braves, Jimenez has rewarded their faith in him and then some. In 75 appearances with the team, Jimenez has posted a 2.74 ERA with a 11.2 K/9 strikeout rate while pounding the strike zone. Atlanta liked what they saw so much last year that they brought him back on a three-year deal this past offseason. So far this season, Jimenez has been one of the Braves' best relievers and looks like an investment well-made.

Trading for Orlando Arcia

Not many thought that Atlanta was adding their shortstop of the future when they traded for Arcia back in 2021. Dansby Swanson was firmly entrenched at shortstop with many assuming that the Braves would extend him and Arcia had struggled in Milwaukee after being a top prospect. At the time, it just looked like the Braves were giving up some spare parts in Patrick Weigel and Chad Sobotka for some useful infield depth.

Braves fans know the rest of the story. Arcia became the surprise heir at shortstop after Dansby left in free agency when everyone thought it was going to be Vaughn Grissom. Arcia would go on to make the All-Star team in 2023 and crack 17 homers in addition to being an excellent defender at short. That good work has continued this season as he has had multiple clutch hits in 2024 while also already accumulating seven Outs Above Average at short (second only to Bobby Witt Jr. in all of baseball). Not too shabby for a guy making $2 million a year for the next three years.

Trading for Ray Kerr

This one may be jumping the gun a bit as Ray Kerr doesn't exactly have much of a track record with the Braves just yet. Kerr was acquired from the Padres last offseason in the deal that had the Braves take on Matt Carpenter's contract and at the time, it was an intriguing move for a lefty bullpen arm that has shown the ability to miss bats in the minors.

However, with Tyler Matzek dealing with another arm injury at the moment, the Braves REALLY needed that lefty depth and Kerr stepped up in a big way. In his three appearances with Atlanta, Kerr has given the Braves multi-inning stints and continued to mow batters down. Given that he has a minor league option, Kerr may have to bounce back and forth from the minors a bit this year, but he is quickly becoming an important part of the Braves' plans this season.

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