The race for the NL East divisional title came down to a tie-breaker. In the end, Braves front office boss Alex Anthopoulos gave his team just enough of a personnel edge to gain that narrow advantage.
Anthopoulos and new Mets general manager Billy Eppler matched one another move-for-move during the off-season and regular season, with Anthopoulos eventually holding the edge. Perhaps as a result, his Braves got a bye into the divisional round while Eppler’s Mets were consigned to what turned out to be a fatal wild card round appearance against the Padres.
The analysis that follows is an assessment of the impact each NL East front office’s personnel decisions since November of 2021 have had on their team’s standing. It is based on the aggregate Wins Above Average of moves made in five areas:
- Players acquired by trade, purchase or waiver claim.
- Players signed as free agents or extended for more than one year.
- Minor league callups.
- Players lost via trade, waiver claim or sale.
- Players lost to free agency or released.
Wins Above Average is the preferred metric for this calculation because it is zero-based, meaning that it approximately reflects the number of games by which a front office either helped or hurt its team in the standings.
There was one change of significance to front office leadership in the division this season. That occurred in New York, where new owner Steve Cohen named Billy Eppler general manager, succeeding Brodie Van Wagenen. Sandy Alderson remained team president.
The division’s four other front office teams remained in place. Those teams are headed by:
Atlanta Braves, Alex Anthopoulos, president of baseball operations and general manager.
Miami Marlins, Kim Ng, general manager.
Philadelphia Phillies, Dave Dombrowski, president of baseball operations; Sam Fuld, general manager.
Washington Nationals, Mike Rizzo, president of baseball operations and general manager.
In order of effectiveness, here’s how all five NL East front offices performed in 2022. Also listed are the most significant moves by each front office.