NL East front office grades midway through 2024: Braves, Mets thriving

Detroit Tigers v Atlanta Braves
Detroit Tigers v Atlanta Braves / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages
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This week marks the halfway point of the 2024 season. That makes this an excellent time to deliver mid-term grades for the work done by each team’s front office since the conclusion of the 2023 postseason.

The fifth installment in this series focuses on the NL East.

The standard of measurement in Wins Above Average (WAA), a variant of Wins Above Replacement (WAR). For this purpose, WAA is preferable because unlike WAR, it is zero-based. That means the sum of all the decisions made by each team’s front office gives at least a good estimate of the number of games those moves have improved – or worsened – the team’s status this season.

Our grading scale is straight-forward. Front offices that have improved their team by…:

 +3.0 games or higher = A

+1.0 to +2.9 games = B

-0.9 to +0.9 games = C

 -1.0 to -2.5 games = D

-2.6 games or worse = F

A team’s front office impacts that team’s standing in five ways. Those five are:

1. By the impact of players it acquires from other teams via trade, purchase or waiver claim.

2. By the impact of players it surrenders to other teams in those same transactions.

3. By the impact of players it signs at free agency or extends.

4. By the impact of players it loses to free agency or releases.

5. By the impact of players it promotes from its own farm system.

From best to worst, here’s how NL East front offices stack up by those five yardsticks.

2024 NL East front office midterm grades

Atlanta Braves: Alex Anthopoulos, president of baseball operations and general manager. Grade: A.

With their signings of Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto, the Dodgers certainly won the winter free agent sweepstakes. So far, though, Anthopoulos is running a credible second.

Over the winter, Anthopoulos signed or re-signed 11 experienced players who have impacted the Braves’ major league roster, and those 11 have compiled a cumulative +2.1 WAA impact. Notable among those signings was Reynaldo Lopez, who had been consigned to bullpen mopup work for three teams in 2023.

Given a starting opportunity with the Braves, Lopez has responded with a 1.70 ERA in 14 games,  good for +2.4 WAA.

Even better, Lopez is signed through 2027 at a cost-efficient $34 million.

Anthopoulos complemented his open market success with some nice work at the trade table. Notably he got Chris Sale away from Boston for outfielder Vaughn Grissom. Sale has a league-leading 10 wins for the Braves in 14 starts, a +1/6 WAA contribution. Grissom (-0.9 WAA) is working on his second tenure on the injured list and is hitting .148 when he does play for the Red Sox.

Overall, the Braves' front office has made 31 moves impacting the major league roster since the end of the 2023 postseason. 17 of those moves have so far generated positive impact, 11 have been negative and three have been neutral.

Score: +4.3. Grade: A.