6 moves that are proof the Braves have been busy this offseason

Don't sound the alarm bells just yet. The Braves have made significant progress to improve their team for the 2024 season.

Kansas City Royals v Chicago White Sox - Game Two
Kansas City Royals v Chicago White Sox - Game Two / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies
Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies / Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves/GettyImages

Uncle Charlie returns

Despite making comments in the locker room after clinching the division that sounded like he had decided on retirement, Charlie Morton and the Braves decided his story wasn't over just yet.

Had Charlie been healthy at season's end and he was able to pitch for the Braves in the playoffs, maybe the decision would have been different. It seems that Charlie Morton has a bit left in the tank and Atlanta exercised their team option worth $20 million.

Morton posted a 14-12 record and a 3.64 ERA over 163.1 innings in 2023. He suffered a right index finger strain and was unavailable during the NLDS but he has shown how durable he still is despite that.

He's started at least 30 games in every season he's been with the Braves so far and that will likely continue. He will be an important piece of the Atlanta starting rotation yet again as he features alongside Spencer Strider, Max Fried, Bryce Elder, and whoever ends up anchoring the rotation in 2024.

$20 million is a hefty price tag for a 40-year-old starting pitcher normally. However, with the performance we've seen from Charlie over the last couple of years, he's proven he's worth every penny on and off the field.

Not a Bummer

Aaron Bummer
Milwaukee Brewers v Chicago White Sox / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

At this point in the offseason, the Atlanta Braves front office had mainly focused on bringing back familiar faces. That all changed on November 16 as Alex Anthopoulos swung a trade for one of the league's best relievers.

LHP Aaron Bummer joined the Braves bullpen in a deal that featured Atlanta sending 5 players in return to the White Sox. Michael Soroka, Nicky Lopez, Jared Shuster, Braden Shewmake, and Riley Gowens were the price for attaining Bummer's services.

Looking at Bummer's ERA from 2023 doesn't immediately jump out as this being a good move. However, a deeper look into his analytics and you begin to understand exactly why he was brought on.

Atlanta used a collection of players that they did not intend on bringing back to bolster their bullpen, which had seen a good bit of departures. His 2023 doesn't look as glamorous as his 6.79 ERA over 58.1 innings indicates. However, he also pitched on a team with one of the worst defenses in all of MLB. His 3.58 FIP indicates that is true and his FIP should be the metric used to set expectations for his performance.

Much like with Pierce Johnson, Atlanta believes a change in scenery and a massive upgrade in the defense market will certainly help. Bummer produced a 3.14 ERA over 83 innings for the White Sox from 2021-22. His strikeout rate sat at 29.3 percent during that time frame and featured a 2.96 and 3.19 FIP respectively.

His sinker is his bread and butter and why the Chicago defense ultimately failed him. He produced a ground ball rate of 60% and if you don't have a good defense behind you, that can come back to bite you quickly. His combination of being able to miss bats and get outs on the ground makes him a perfect addition to the Braves bullpen.