August 04, 2019

Liberty Media Could Have Done More for Braves at Deadline

Alex Anthopoulos and the Braves’ front office did well to remake and revamp the Braves bullpen for the stretch run and the playoffs. They acquired three very good major league relievers and an emergency catcher without giving up the prospects in their system who have a chance to be above-average big leaguers.

The Braves took on some salary, particularly in the deal with the Giants for Mark Melancon (they’ll pay the remaining $18 million he’s owed through the 2020 season) but this year’s trade deadline is also a sign that Liberty Media is not willing to go all in to greatly increase a good Braves team’s odds to win a World Series.

Anthopoulos said the Braves went a “pretty significant chunk” over their allocated budget to make the deals they made. But the Braves are owned by Liberty Media, and all indications are ownership could have given the Braves the opportunity to acquire Zack Greinke.

Also, it’s likely the Braves could have traded for Greinke without giving up Christian Pache, Ian Anderson, or Drew Waters. They probably would have had to give up some legit prospects, but none of these guys who have the best shots of anyone in the system to become stars. Of course they would have had to take on most of Greinke’s contract as well. (They could have taken on all of Greinke’s contract and probably would have had to give up significantly less than the Astros gave up, and Libery Media probably could have afforded it.)

The Houston Astros have traded for Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, and now Zack Greinke. They built a young core and now their ownership is committed to winning as many World Series championships as possible. Perhaps Liberty Media is waiting for more prospects to arrive and they will become aggressive in building super teams, like the Astros’ ownership has been. But it’s a bit disappointing that they aren’t striking now, while the Braves have the second-best record in the National League and seem to be a Zack Greinke type player away from really challenging teams like the Dodgers, Astros, and Yankees as World Series co-favorites.



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