The Atlanta Braves have reportedly made the biggest decision that’s lingering over their offseason and will hire Alex Anthopoulos as their next general manager.
Multiple outlets, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the New York Post, are reporting that the Braves have settled on Anthopoulos to lead them out of a surprising controversy that ended the reign of previous GM John Coppolella and oversee the next stage of their rebuild. Anthopoulos, 40, was the Toronto Blue Jays’ GM from 2009 to 2015, and spent the last two seasons as vice president of baseball operations for the Los Angeles Dodgers, working under Andrew Friedman.
It’s expected that the Braves will make the move official this week during the GM Meetings in Florida. The Braves had reportedly tried to lure away Dayton Moore from the Royals, since he cut his teeth in Atlanta, however the Royals wouldn’t give the Braves permission to interview Moore.
Mark Bowman of MLB.com says Anthopoulos’ role with the Braves will go beyond normal GM duties:
Confirmed Alex Anthopoulos will be named Braves GM. Though he won’t have the title, Anthopoulos will also likely handle the president of baseball ops duties
— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) November 13, 2017
The Braves’ front office has been in limbo since Oct. 2, when Coppolella was forced to resign amid an MLB investigation into his practices regarding international free agents and the draft, infractions for which the Braves as a whole are still awaiting punishment. At that time, Gordon Blakeley, the Braves’ international scouting supervisor and a special assistant to Coppolella, also resigned.
In Anthopoulos, the Braves are getting a GM who is still young and analytics-minded — and also not afraid to pull off a big trade. In his time in Toronto, he pulled the trigger on many exciting deals, including bringing Josh Donaldson, David Price and Troy Tulowitzki to Toronto near the end of his Blue Jays tenure. He also traded Roy Halladay and Vernon Wells earlier in his Toronto days.
The Braves have one of the richest farm systems in the game and a new stadium that opened in 2017, but they lost 90 games last season. In other words, Anthopoulos has lots of work ahead of him.
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