Les Braves president Alex Anthopoulos discusses the offseason


Braves president of baseball operations Alex Anthopoulos, who recently added a World Series win to his resume, spoke with members of the media today about what the club has planned by the time of the defense of his title in 2022. As for the budget, Anthopoulos said he will increase next season, although the exact figure is still being finalized. (Twitter link by David O’Brien of The Athletic.)

It should come as no surprise that the property is investing a little more money in the club, given that they have surely seen an increase in income from ticket sales and TV viewing during their triumphant march. to become World Series champions. They started the 2021 season with a payroll of more than $ 131 million, the highest opening day figure in franchise history, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts. In July, they acquired Jorge soler, Eddie Rosario, Adam duval, Joc pederson, Stephane Vogt and Richard rodriguez, taking roughly $ 15 million in salary and pushing their end-of-season payroll to somewhere between $ 145 million and $ 150 million. At the moment, their outlook for 2022 is just over $ 141 million, according to Jason Martinez of Roster Resource’s estimate, already pretty close to final spending in 2022. Therefore, their offseason strategy will depend on exactly of the increase with which the front office has to work.

Anthopoulos himself has recognized that it will be difficult to keep all the vaulters. (Twitter link by Gabe Burns of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.) Soler, Pederson and Rosario all head to free agency today, leaving the club with a 2022 outfield from Duvall, Cristian Pache and Guillermo Heredia. Ronald Acuna will resume a place as soon as he is in good health but is not expected to be ready on opening day. There is certainly room to add to this group, on paper, as long as there is money available to do so.

Of course, there is another area that the club surely wants to devote resources to, and that brings Freddie freeman back into the fold. As for the hitting first baseman, Anthopoulos said: by burns, “We’ve made it clear that we want him to stay. He wants to stay. The mutual interest in reuniting is understandable, given that Freeman has been with the organization since they selected him in the second round of the 2007 Draft and he’s since become the face of the franchise, but he’s also 32, which means this is going to be his best shot to land a big free agency contract. , he’ll also want to take advantage of his first and potentially only trip to the free agent market and can’t expect to offer huge discounts in his hometown.

Freeman has been one of the most consistently excellent hitters over the past decade. Since its breakthrough in 2013, it has never had a wRC + below 132 and has never produced less than 3.3 fWAR, even including the shortened 2020 campaign. In 2021, it hit 31 home runs and slashed .300 / .393 / .503, good enough for a wRC + of 135 and 4.5 fWAR. It’s hard to imagine him doing this in any other uniform at this point, but the Atlanta brass will surely have to put money on the barrel to make it happen.

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