Braves signings: What the hiring of Alex Anthopoulos means

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ATLANTA, GA – JULY 15: Ryan Raburn
ATLANTA, GA – JULY 15: Ryan Raburn /

Free Agency

Will the Braves be big players in 2018 free agency? Count on it.

The free agent class will come at a time where youngsters such a Ronald Acuña, Ozzie Albies, and Luiz Gohara will be pre-arbitration and working for pennies.  Payroll flexibility, increased revenues from SunTrust Park, and an aggressive GM?  The potential for a big splash is there.

Increased analytics

Anthopoulos is a clear departure from the much-maligned “Braves Way.”  The Braves’ internal tug-of-war between traditional scouting vs. new-age dependence on analytics has been a divisive point in the front office.  The willingness to bring on AA in the Executive Vice President / GM role, and to provide him with the autonomy necessary to build his team, implies the Braves’ acceptance of the analytical mindset.  

There will be a shift from the old school methodology which has permeated in the team in recent years.  No longer will the Braves fall behind the analytical curve.  The old “Braves Way” is evaporating, and a newer, more forward-thinking way is forming in its place.

This increased focus on analytics means AA will employ different methodologies in player valuation.  There will be prioritization of different skill sets.  The lines of thinking behind Braves roster construction is about to shift, and rightfully so.

AA is more analytically-driven than Coppolella, which will jive with the addition of analytically-driven Walt Weiss as bench coach.  Weiss could be a manager-in-waiting.

The Braves’ impending penalties will be damaging, but there may be no organization better equipped to handle such punishment. A brain-trust of AA and scouting director Brian Bridges has the potential to be an all-time pairing, even with any sanctions that are levied against the team.