“Ladies and gentlemen, I’m hear today to tell you that Alex Anthopoulos is a good General Manager”.~Me
When Coppy got the death penalty for cheating internationally, it seemed like the Braves would just shift to John Hart as the new GM. For the rest of that bloody awful 2017 season, the Braves did just that. In May of that year, Fredi Gonzalez had also been shown the door and was replaced by “interim manager” Brian Snitker. It wasn’t until the offseason of 2017 that the Braves would go outside the org to hire a new General Manager in Alex Anthopoulos and announce the resignation of John Hart. His first order of business was to take on a TON of cash to consolidate funds to provide “financial flexibility” for the future who would’ve imagined that the most valuable player from that deal would be none other than Charlie Culberson, who carried a .792 OPS and had several walk-off moments. I’m sure that Alex Anthopoulos was already prepping for a not so great year and was looking toward the 2019 season, but the team surprised all of us and won the division, and have ever since.
I don’t think we as fans don’t quite fully understand how extraordinary of an accomplishment it was to not only win the division in 2018, but to continue to do so, aging like a fine wine even when cornerstone players go elsewhere. The Braves have 5 straight division titles, 1 World Series victory, and year 6 with AA looks to be the best one yet. However, AA has no intention of letting this franchise do anything but succeed while he’s leading the charge. His goal has been obvious since 2018 and that is to sign cornerstone players early, trade for cornerstone players and extend them, and continue to keep a strong core together for as long as possible.
In today’s piece, I want to love on AA a bit. He’s getting it done and putting $ where he puts his pizza. With so many long-term deals, this team is locked up for a long time.
Who’s locked up for 2024?
*Assuming that all club options are picked up
Matt Olson, Charlie Morton, Marcell Ozuna, Ronald Acuna Jr., Raisel Iglesias, Austin Riley, Max Fried, Eddie Rosario, Travis D’Arnaud, Ozzie Albies, Kirby Yates, Michael Harris II, Collin McHugh, A.J. Minter, Sean Murphy, Orlando Arcia, Tyler Matzek, Spencer Strider, Nick Anderson, Ben Heller, Kolby Allard, Sam Hilliard, Michael Tonkin, Kyle Wright, Dylan Lee, Huascar Ynoa, Jared Shuster, Ian Anderson, Dylan Dodd, Bryce Elder, Vaughn Grissom, Michael Soroka, AJ Smith-Shawver, Danny Young.
If there are no extensions, the Braves will lose 8 players: Charlie Morton, Max Fried, Eddie Rosario, Travis D’Arnaud, Kirby Yates, Collin McHugh, Michael Soroka, and A.J. Minter.
If there are no extensions, the Braves will lose 5 players: Marcell Ozuna, Raisel Iglesias, Tyler Matzek, Nick Anderson, Ben Heller.
Braves for the Long Haul
We Braves fans know the drill: Extend in-house young talent and trade for cornerstone players and extend them right away. Here’s that list (assuming all options are picked up):
- Matt Olson: Here through 2030
- Ronald Acuna Jr.: through 2028
- Ozzie Albies: through 2027
- Michael Harris II: through 2032
- Sean Murphy: through 2029
- Orlando Arcia: through 2026
- Spencer Strider: through 2029
- Austin Riley: through 2033
Is there any doubt who’s the best GM in the game? Not for me.
If you want to give AA a hug like I do, come pull up a stool and give a cheers to this man by joining the bar!