Reports on Twitter yesterday suggests that the Atlanta Braves hired Alex Anthopoulus as their new GM. Braves fans appear ecstatic with this news (at least on my Twitter timeline) and the majority of journalists are describing this as a major coup for the Braves organization. I’m not convinced yet.
Looking back at AA’s (Alex Anthopoulus) track record doesn’t exactly fill me with the same sense of confidence as the rest of the Braves faithful. For starters, the Blue Jays’ win loss record was just a tad above .500 (489-483) whilst AA was the GM. Then when you dig a little deeper you also notice that AA was responsible for the following trades:
In 2009: Traded ace, Roy Halladay to the Phillies for Kyle Drabek, Travis D’Arnaud and Michael Taylor.
In 2012: Traded Mike Aviles and Yan Gomes to the Indians for Esmil Rogers.
In 2012: Traded Justin Nicolino, Henderson Alvarez, Anthony DeSclafani, Yunel Escobar, Adeiny Hechavarria, Jake Marisnick and Jeff Mathis to the Marlins for John Buck, Emilio Bonifacio, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson and Jose Reyes.
In 2012, Traded Noah Syndergaard, Travis D’Arnaud and John Buck to the Mets for RA Dickey, Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas.
It wasn’t all bad, as there were also some good trades, most famously the Josh Donaldson one:
In 2014: Traded Brett Lawrie and Kendall Graveman to the Athletics for Josh Donaldson
In 2011: Traded Vernon Wells to the Angels for Mike Napoli and Juan Rivera
In 2014: Traded Adam Lind to the Brewers for Marco Estrada.
As you can see, its a case of hit and miss with AA and therefore I would deploy some caution if I were a Braves fan (which I am by the way!). One thing AA will bring to the party in Atlanta is excitement with a lot of trade activity. It will be interesting to see what approach he takes with the Braves farm system. At Toronto, he emptied the farm in an attempt to win it all in 2015. Give AA credit, he got close that year, eventually losing to the Royals in Game 6 of the ALCS in 2015. Most notably Toronto’s run to the ALCS that year ended a 22 year play off drought. This was also AA’s last year as GM with the Blue Jays and it is for this reason that I think everyone remembers him as a great GM and therefore perhaps looks at AA with rose tinted glasses on. What people forget are some of those trades listed above, the win loss record during his tenure and that he left Toronto with a depleted farm system.
So, based on that I think its a bit premature to get excited about this move and I will wait and see what AA does in Atlanta before jumping on the AA bandwagon and shouting from the rooftops what a great signing this is for the Braves.