Braves’ bold summer trades continue to pay off in World Series – .

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Braves’ bold summer trades continue to pay off in World Series – .


TORONTO – Shortly after Jorge Soler hammered the third pitch of the World Series opener off the left-field wall, Fox Sports play-by-play announcer Joe Buck detailed the clever remake of Atlanta before their outfield deadline.
Baseball operations president and general manager Alex Anthopoulos had, according to Buck, “one of the best July a general manager has ever had.” Considering the transformational impact that Soler, Adam Duvall, Eddie Rosario and Joc Pederson have produced since joining the Spray Club, which extended until Game 1, 6-2 on Tuesday night, victory on the Houston Astros, it’s hard to argue.

Still, for fans of the Toronto Blue Jays, Buck’s comment opened up an interesting debate: Is Anthopoulos’ work this summer any better than that of 2015, when his frenzied acquisitions of Troy Tulowitzki, LaTroy Hawkins, David Price , Mark Lowe and Ben Revere helped end a 21-year postseason drought?

There are parallels and differences, but in both cases the increase of .500 clubs led to deep postseason series, with the Blue Jays losing in six games to the Kansas City Royals in the series. of the 2015 American League Championships, Atlanta now three wins away from a championship.

Without a doubt, his four trades this summer were master strokes, all accomplished without spending any significant prospective capital:


Pivotal was Pederson’s acquisition from the Cubs on July 15, a deal struck during the All-Star break to ensure his players would return to a boost after Ronald Acuna Jr. was defeated following a knee injury ending the season. Atlanta was only 44-45 at the time, and the trade sent a message that there would be no retirement – something reinforced on deadline day when, despite a mark of 51-53 , Anthopoulos rocked the other three chords, building a whole new midseason outfield.

This sparked a 37-20 finish and won the Milwaukee in the divisional series and the Dodgers in the National League championship series, all with minimal risk in terms of assets transferred.

It’s exceptional work and the dividends continued to pour in during Game 1, when Soler’s homeroom set the tone, Pederson’s hit helped set up Soler’s RBI in second and Duvall’s homeroom. to two points in the third, immediately after a Rosario single, made it 5-0 and knocked out Valdez.

The Anthopoulos deals in 2015 had a similar impact, although the players acquired – and the prices paid to obtain them – were more substantial.


The Blue Jays were 50-50 when they made the deal with Tulowitzki and 52-51 when they rocked the other three trades, correcting defensive shortcomings of a declining Reyes on the standstill- short, bolstering the spin with an ace in Price, bolstering the pen with Hawkins and Lowe while plugging a hole in left field with Revere.

An epic 43-19 finale followed, rejuvenating a long, dying franchise, but the moves turned out to be the last major ones Anthopoulos would make in Toronto, as he left after the season, just as Mark Shapiro took off. took over as President and CEO.

Shapiro pointed to the high cost of the agreements after his arrival and a thinned out farming system that had to be rebuilt afterwards. But there is a certain spectator gaze to looking back at the chords now, as Anthopoulos seems to have sold high on many players in the chord, Hoffman and Norris among them.

Of all those traded that summer, Boyd leads the career WAR at 7.7 as calculated by Baseball Reference, followed by Norris at 5.4. and Castro at 3.6. Everyone except Tirado and Wells has at least hit the majors, but none of the perspectives traded would have prevented the down years of 2017-19, and they helped set up the magic of ’15 and ’16. .

With better fortunes, the 2015 Blue Jays would have faced the New York Mets in the World Series rather than the Royals, but that didn’t turn out that way for Anthopoulos on his first try in one of the best months of the game. July that a general manager has ever known. had.

He is already more advanced in his second attempt.

Other takeaways from the opening of the World Series:

• Game 1 came from Atlanta in many ways, but the fractured right fibula suffered by ace Charlie Morton could play really big the longer this streak goes.

Morton is the backbone of the Atlanta staff, and while Max Fried in Game 2 and possibly Ian Anderson in Game 3 still provide a qualitative advantage over the Houston starters, that advantage diminishes in the next round. Jose Urquidy starts Game 2 for the Astros, followed by Luis Garcia in Game 3, and neither offers much certainty.

But Houston will be able to put Valdez back for Game 5, and he’s been much better in his second ALCS outing than he was in his first, while Atlanta won’t have an answer for that. without Morton.

• In terms of post-season courageous moments, Morton got rid of Yuli Gurriel’s comeback in the second inning who hit him in the leg to get two more strikeouts this inning and another in the third before exiting the game. . He threw 16 pitches after the injury, including eight at 94.2 mph or more, hitting 95.9. He should be ready for spring training next year.

• AJ Minter replaced Morton and provided 2.2 innings of crucial relief, allowing a run on three hits, Luke Jackson followed with 1.2 frames, bringing Atlanta to his leverage.

Tyler Matzek, who allowed a run in 1.1 inning, and Will Smith in the ninth closed things off.

• Neither team did particularly well with runners in scoring position, Atlanta was 2 for 9 while Houston was 1 for 9, again underscoring the importance of a strong offense.

Soler and Duvall both went deep, representing three runs, while Yordan Alvarez and Gurriel both launched rockets at the wall.

Alvarez’s triple was conceded by a failure from Carlos Correa while Gurriel was sent off in second place by a solid throw from Rosario, who cleverly lined up the drive from the wall in the eighth.

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