The most important extension the Braves need to give is to Alex Anthopoulos

The Braves have done well to lock up their young talent. Now, they have to lock up the architect of those deals.
Oct 25, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA;  Atlanta Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos talks in the
Oct 25, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Atlanta Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos talks in the / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

When the Atlanta Braves signed Alex Anthopoulos to run their front office back before the 2018 season, the franchise was in disarray. The organization was absolutely loaded with minor league talent, but the big league team was a mess and the international free agent scandal that cost former GM John Coppolella his job was a stain that was likely to linger.

Ever since AA came on board, the Braves have not looked back as they have won six straight National League East titles, won the 2021 World Series, and importantly have locked up a lot of that young talent AA started with to long-term deals. Few teams have successfully built rosters as strong as the Braves have while also keeping them around for a long time, but the Braves appear to be on the verge of pulling it off.

Now that the Braves have dealt for Chris Sale, the front office's work this offseason is likely to be close to over beyond minor moves here and there. While many fans are getting desperate for good news regarding a potential extension for Max Fried as he is entering his walk year, it may be more important that the Braves give Anthopoulos his own extension first.

The Braves need to give Alex Anthopoulos an extension and soon

Like Fried, Anthopoulos is also entering the last year of his current contract that he signed back in 2020 when he was promoted to president of baseball operations. We don't know the terms of that deal beyond that it through this coming season, but it safe to say that AA has probably significantly outperformed his salary.

Anthopoulos being so good at his job actually presents a problem, though. Given that he isn't under contract after this year, a number of teams could try to dangle significant job offers in front of him. Executive compensation in the past isn't something that is generally known when it comes to the Braves, but the team cannot afford to get cheap when it comes to AA because there are a number of teams that would happily scoop him up.

Fortunately, that doesn't seem all that likely. The Braves have been wildly successful under Anthopoulos and have been vocal in their support of AA and the entire front office. Moreover, Anthopoulos has been asked in the past about his future and he has indicated both that he expects to be around for the long haul and he loves the job he is in. With a team that is looking like it could be good for years and years to come, this is a marriage that simply works.

That said, anything is possible until an extension gets signed and, for the Braves' sake, they may not want to wait around too long.

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