The Atlanta Braves were World Series champions as recently as 2021. The Braves have functioned this offseason like they plan to go on another championship hunt.
Atlanta did lose a big piece in shortstop Dansby Swanson. He signed a seven-year deal with the Chicago Cubs. However, the Braves made an impressive move in their own right, trading for Oakland Athletics’ catcher Sean Murphy.
The Braves retain an impressive lineup that features players like Murphy, Matt Olson, Ronald Acuna and Austin Riley among others. Their pitching rotation has impressive young stars like Spencer Strider, a veteran leader in Charlie Morton and an ace in Max Fried.
Atlanta seems to have all of the pieces necessary for another World Series run. However, the Braves were eliminated by the Phillies in the NLDS. It was a tough end to a season that saw the Braves win 101 regular season wins.
Still, the Braves are still one of the best teams in the MLB. This one offseason move could help push Atlanta over the edge and have the Braves back on the World Series war path.
Braves shortstop conundrum
Seeing Swanson leave for Chicago was a major loss for the Braves. He manned shortstop in Atlanta for seven years, being named an All-Star for the first time in his final year with Braves.
During his time in Atlanta, Swanson hit .255 with 102 home runs, 411 RBI and 58 stolen bases. Alongside his All-Star nomination, Swanson was also a Gold Glover in 2022. He holds a career .978 fielding percentage. In losing Swanson, the Braves are losing a potent bat and a sound defender at shortstop.