After winning the N.L. East the past three seasons, Atlanta was picked by most baseball experts to win their division again in 2021.
Then the season unfolded. At the trade deadline they were treading water, stuck in third place, under .500.
Their young superstar outfielder, Ronald Acuña, Jr., broke his leg in a game in early July and was lost for the season. It was a major blow. They had already lost another star outfielder, Marcel Ozuna, in late-May for domestic abuse. Their centerfielder, Guillermo Heredia, under-performed.
So, when the trade deadline approached, they needed to restock their outfield. All they did was add Jorge Soler, Joc Pederson, Adam Duvall, and Eddie Rosario.
Soler put up an OPS of .882 and an OPS+ of 128 as a Brave. Adam Duvall led the National League in RBIs. Pederson became a post-season hero with his pearls and timely home runs.
Then there’s Rosario. All he did was put up an amazing .903 OPS since becoming a Brave. Oh, and he won the MVP of the National League playoffs.
(The Rangers, by comparison, added Spencer Howard. He went 0-3 with a 9.07 ERA.)
Before the trade deadline, the Braves were playing .491 baseball. After the trade deadline, they played .655. Their general manager, Alex Anthopoulos, should automatically be named Executive of the Year.
How he rebuilt his team that ended up in the World Series should be a textbook example of how to run a front office.
It would be great if anyone in Arlington was paying attention.