In case you missed the highly anticipated news lighting the baseball world on fire, yesterday top free agent, Shohei Ohtani signed a massive $700 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. This news sparked a ton of reactions to the effect it has on the Atlanta Braves and their chances to win the National League pennant.
Before you run to the comments to yell at me for being pessimistic let me set the record straight. The Atlanta Braves are still a very, very good baseball team as currently constructed. Full stop. Although, we have published numerous articles on this very site, worried about the starting pitching depth, we still believe this Braves team is among the best in baseball. However, a 100-win Dodgers team just added the best player in baseball to their roster; that isn't something to scoff at.
Once the Ohtani news broke, numerous tweets and reactions came out pondering how you pitch to the top half of the Dodgers order. Yes, Betts-Freeman-Ohtani is a remarkable trio of hitters. However, Acuna-Riley-Olson strike an immense amount of fear into pitchers as well.
What is Anthopoulos planning?
Knowing the threat the Dodgers pose (spoiler they were already a threat) Atlanta Braves fans now turn their attention to how their favorite team will respond. Luckily, the Braves roster doesn't appear to be starving for talent. In fact, starting pitching is just about the only area left for Anthopoulos to sure up.
AA has said before that he doesn't make moves in response to other organizations. That's why we love him, operating a baseball team that way isn't how you build a winner. With that said, Anthopoulos absolutely knows the he needs to acquire all the talented pitchers he can to maneuver through these potent opposing lineups.
We've heard numerous names floated out during the offseason. Names like: Tyler Glasnow, Shane Bieber, and Dylan Cease as trade options. Meanwhile, the free agent class still has some big-time names like: Yamamoto, Snell, and Jordan Montgomery available to sign.
In case you've missed some of the recent Braves transactions, Alex Anthopoulos has been wheelin' and dealin' more than any GM this offseason. The names and contracts he has taken on aren't without purpose. And with each trade, AA inches closer to completing what he hopes to be a World Series worthy roster.
I know we have covered the previously listed pitchers in spades, but just remember not many people had Jared Kelenic mentioned as a potential Eddie Rosario replacement in left field. Anthopoulos adding a starter who hasn't even been thought of yet may have bigger odds than acquiring one of those aforementioned pitchers.
The Kelenic trade was the first event in the chain reaction. At the end of it, Anthopoulos is hoping to have the baseball world asking how exactly he turned a paper clip into a new house? It's going to take some creativity, but I think the baseball world will be talking about the Braves very soon, likely after a shocking blue-screen transaction has been posted by the team's official Twitter page.
With Ohtani now on the Dodgers, the National League has three clear favorites in the Phillies, Dodgers, and Braves. Baseball has funny way of working though, and the 2023 Arizona Diamondbacks are proof that the most talented teams doesn't always advance in the postseason. However, Alex Anthopoulos is certainly trying his best to build an Atlanta Braves roster can defeat both the randomness of playoff baseball and the other powerhouse teams in MLB. Maybe he's just one big move away from making that happen.