The Atlanta Braves absolutely crushed it in the final hours of the 2021 MLB trade deadline.
We have to give Atlanta Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos a ton of credit for what he did in the hours leading up to the 2021 MLB trade deadline.
Atlanta had already made deals shortly after the All-Star Break for former Chicago Cubs outfielder Joc Pederson and Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Stephen Vogt. However, those two moves were not enough to satisfy a rabid Braves fanbase who is really starting to freak out about the possibility of losing the NL East crown to the New York Mets. Anthopoulos redeemed himself.
Here are three reasons why Anthopoulos’ great work helped the Braves win the trade deadline.
Atlanta Braves won the 2021 MLB trade deadline for these 3 reasons
3. Adding Richard Rodriguez to the Braves bullpen clearly raises the floor
One of the biggest reasons the Braves have yet to be above .500 at any point this year has been their largely underwhelming bullpen. While it was strong a year ago en route to the franchise’s first NLCS trip in 19 years, it has been a far cry from that this season. While this is still nowhere near a team strength, dealing for Richard Rodriguez of the Pittsburgh Pirates is a huge boost.
Rodriguez may be more of a sixth, seventh or eighth-inning guy than a closer for the Braves with Will Smith pitching well in his new role this year. However, Rodriguez’s impressive 2.82 ERA and blistering 0.835 WHIP will do wonders to raise the floor of Atlanta’s awful bullpen. One could argue the bullpen has been the biggest reason why the Braves are not in first place this season.
Had Anthopoulos not traded for Rodriguez in the final minutes of the deadline, Braves Country would have been livid. It would have meant the Atlanta general manager did nothing to address his team’s biggest weakness, despite the organization’s clear intentions of pushing towards the postseason. By trading for Rodriguez, Braves fans can exhale knowing bullpen help is on the way.
Adding Rodriguez was awesome, but it was not the biggest reason the Braves won the deadline.