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#pounditSaturday, February 4, 2023

Articles tagged: Alex Anthopoulos

Braves had surprising form of motivation for series against Mets

Brian Snitker looking on

Apr 28, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Braves manager Brian Snitker (43) in the dugout before a game against the Chicago Cubs at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves credited an unusual secret weapon for sparking their midseason turnaround and eventual World Series title last season. Fans will be happy to hear that the magic potion is coming back.

Braves president of baseball operations Alex Anthopoulos revealed right before the playoffs last year that the team installed a soft serve ice cream machine in their clubhouse right around the time they went on a tear. Anthopoulos told “The Steakhouse” on 92.9 The Game this week that Travis d’Arnaud recently asked him if they could get the machine back. The executive promised he would have another ice cream machine installed if the Braves took three out of four games in their series against the division-leading New York Mets.

Mission accomplished. Atlanta beat the Mets 3-2 on Thursday night to win their third game of the four-game series. Immediately after the win, d’Arnaud ran up to closer Kenley Jansen and began chanting “ice cream! ice cream!”

The Braves improved to 73-47 with Thursday night’s win. They have won nine of their last 10 and are now just 3.5 games behind the Mets and have a comfortable 7.5-game cushion in the NL Wild Card race.

We are guessing Anthopoulos will gladly pay up.

MLBPA launches investigation following Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos’ comments

Alex Anthopoulos Braves

Tony Clark, the executive director of the MLB Players’ Association, issued a statement on Wednesday in which he said the union would be investigating the comments of Atlanta Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos.

Speaking with reporters on Tuesday, Anthopoulos said the Braves had a chance to get a sense of what other clubs are going to look to do in free agency and who might be available in trades.

Clark found that quote concerning because it indicates potential coordination between teams regarding free agents, which is against MLB rules.

“The statements made by Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos call into the question the integrity of the entire free-agent system. The clear description of Club coordination is egregious, and we have launched an immediate investigation looking into the matter,” Clark said in a statement, via Ken Rosenthal.

Anthopoulos’ statement may have been innocuous; teams need to conduct due diligence every offseason and try to figure out what their opponents are doing. Talking with other clubs about potential trades is also part of the game. But after the way free agency has been going — with players increasingly not seeing markets materialize the last two offseasons — you can understand why Clark would be concerned.

If teams are sharing with each other whether they will be bidding on certain free agents or not, that would be against rules. If teams are sharing desired trade targets and areas of desired improvement, that would not be against the rules.

Braves GM says pursuit of Harper, Machado is unlikely

Atlanta Braves logo

The young, upstart Atlanta Braves may be just a piece away from serious title contention, but that piece probably won’t be coming from the cream of this winter’s free agent crop.

In an appearance this weekend on SiriusXM’s MLB Network Radio, Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos made clear that the team was unlikely to pursue top stars Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, per host Jim Bowden. Anthopoulos also spoke on his reluctance to hand out ten-year deals to those players and said that the team was likelier to target the trade market for roster improvements instead.

The Braves are coming off a surprise season where they won 90 games, which was good enough for the NL East title and their first playoff berth since 2013. They fell in four games to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS however.

As for Harper and Machado, they are still expected to command some serious (and possibly record-breaking) dough this winter. But Anthopoulos’ remarks do come in the wake of another potential suitor likely bowing out as well.

Alex Anthopoulos to be hired as Braves GM

Alex Anthopoulos

Alex Anthopoulos will be calling the shots for an MLB team once again.

Anthopoulos is set to be hired by the Atlanta Braves for their GM job, the New York Post’s Joel Sherman reported on Sunday evening.

Anthopoulos, 40, served as GM of the Toronto Blue Jays from the 2010 season through the 2015 season. He ultimately declined a five-year contract extension with the team and was later announced as Sporting News’ MLB Executive of the Year. The team was coming off its first playoff appearance since 1993 and had reached the ALCS when he left.

While with Toronto, Anthopoulos had a reputation for being aggressive with trades. He pulled off deals for the likes of Josh Donaldson, Troy Tulowitzki and David Price. However, he also shipped out Roy Halladay without getting much in return, and he dealt Noah Syndergaard for R.A. Dickey.

Anthopoulos has spent the past two seasons as a VP for the Dodgers.

Report: Mark Shapiro scolded Alex Anthopoulos in their only meeting

Alex Anthopoulos

Alex Anthopoulos is leaving the Toronto Blue Jays much to the surprise of the baseball world. A clash with new team president Mark Shapiro may be the reason why.

The Jays offered Anthopoulos a contract extension and wanted him to return as GM, but he likely was hesitant to do so knowing that he wouldn’t have the final say on baseball decisions. The change in the front office structure happened when the team hired former longtime Cleveland Indians GM Mark Shapiro at the end of August to be their new president and CEO.

Anthopoulos is believed to have a more scouting-focused philosophy, while Shapiro is known for being more statistics-focused. It also sounds like their relationship got off to a rocky start during their first and only meeting, according to The Sports Network’s Rick Westhead.

While Anthopoulos built the most powerful team in baseball and a squad that nearly reached the World Series, he did so at a cost. Perhaps believing this was a make-or-break year for him, Anthopoulos went all-in and traded the likes of Daniel Norris and two others for David Price; three prospects including No. 9 pick Jeff Hoffman for Troy Tulowitzki; and two prospects for Mark Lowe. The results paid off in the short run, but those trades coupled with dealing Travis d’Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard for R.A. Dickey could cripple the franchise in the future. That may have been what Shapiro pointed out in their meeting.

Walking away from the Jays is a risky move by Anthopoulos, but after building an ALCS team this season, he probably thinks someone will want to hire him.