3 Braves offseason moves that already look great, 1 that could be a mistake

  1. 3 Braves offseason moves that already look great, 1 that could be a mistake

The Atlanta Braves are definitely in a weird place at the moment. On the one hand, they just came back AGAIN to take down the Diamondbacks on Saturday evening to improve to 5-2 in the young 2023 season. On the other hand, Max Fried struggled once again and Spencer Strider appears as though he could be out a while with elbow troubles. The ups and downs of the baseball season have already been in full effect for the Braves.

There are always going to be uncontrollable things that happen during the season and what every team tries to do is do enough in the offseason to be able to absorb any potential personnel losses and keep pushing forward. Some guys are more replaceable than others, but the goal is establishing true depth throughout the roster to keep the team functional even when the times are bad and injuries pop up.

We will save you the trouble: no, there is no real replacement for Spencer Strider, but the Braves do still find themselves in decent shape after his injury. One reason for that is that moves the Braves made this offseason addressed the holes they had into their roster without poaching too much of their depth in the high minors that they can use to fill roster vacancies as needed. While not ideal, that depth is what the Braves are going to be relying on in the short-term.

With that in mind, here is a look at some of the moves the Braves made this past offseason that look great so far and one that, so far, hasn’t panned out the way Atlanta hoped it would. As always, these opinions are subject to change, but here are the moves that look the best thus far for the 2024 season.

Signing Reynaldo Lopez looks like it could be a steal for the Braves

When the Braves first announced that they were signing Reynaldo Lopez, most thought it was Alex Anthopoulos doing his usual thing where he builds out a stacked bullpen early in the offseason. That may still be what the end result ends up being down the line, but signing Lopez proved to be a much bigger deal than that when Atlanta revealed that Lopez would be converting back into being a starter for at least the early portion of the 2024 season.

While Lopez has just thrown one start, the early returns are that adding Lopez was a big win for the Braves. At a time when having starting pitching depth is a big deal, Lopez looked right at home in the rotation despite being outpitched by Garrett Crochet last week. Now that Strider is presumably going to be out for a while, the Braves may need to keep Lopez in the rotation for a lot longer than initially planned which is a nice luxury to have all things considered.

Any deal for a reliever has a chance to turn ugly pretty quickly. All pitchers are inherently risky as the laws of physics are just not kind to the human arm, but relievers are uniquely problematic as they often throw with more effort and/or worse mechanics and can turn back into pumpkins remarkably quickly. So, when the Braves did a massive roster culling and traded for Aaron Bummer, there was always a real chance that it would flame out.

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