The Atlanta Braves attempted to go back-to-back in 2022, one season after the team defeated the Houston Astros in the 2021 World Series. But after a 101-win regular season, the Braves were knocked out of the playoffs by division rival Philadelphia in the NLDS. So, how will the Braves rebound in 2023? Here’s how the Braves tweaked its group for this upcoming season.
Related: 2022-23 MLB Offseason Recap: Baltimore Orioles
- RHP Kolby Allard
- RHP Nick Anderson (MiLB Deal)
- OF Sam Hilliard
- RHP Joe Jiménez
- LHP Lucas Luetge
- OF Jordan Luplow
- C Sean Murphy
- INF Eli White
Atlanta loaded up on relievers this offseason, and that started with RHP Nick Anderson. The former Rays reliever dominated out of the pen with a fastball/curveball combo from 2019-20, before injuries knocked the righty out for most of 2021 and all of 2022. The Braves also picked up hard-throwing righty Joe Jiménez via trade from the Tigers, and gave up next to nothing to get crafty lefty Lucas Luetge from the Yankees.
The most notable addition to the Braves this winter was former Athletics catcher Sean Murphy. Murphy — who we ranked as one of the best catchers in the league for 2023 — had a career year at the plate in 2022, as he hit .250/.332/.426 with 18 home runs and led all catchers in total extra base hits (57). The 28-year-old is set to take over as the Braves’ starter at catcher in 2023.
Additionally, the Braves did address a hole at left field with the pickups of outfielders Sam Hilliard and Jordan Luplow.
- C William Contreras
- OF Adam Duvall
- OF Robbie Grossman
- RHP Kenley Jansen
- LHP Kyle Muller
- RHP Darren O’Day
- C Manny Piña
- SS Dansby Swanson
- RHP Freddy Tarnok
The Braves did manage to get a a big fish in Murphy, but it did cost a premium. Atlanta dealt away pitching prospects Kyle Muller and Freddy Tarnok in the deal, but most notably 2022 All-Star William Contreras. Contreras will head to Milwaukee after the three-team trade, one year after the catcher batted .278/.354/.506 with 20 home runs and 35 extra base hits in 97 games.
The biggest loss for the Braves this winter was the departure of shortstop Dansby Swanson to the Cubs. Swanson turned into a valuable hitter after scuffles earlier in his career, as the ex-Brave hit 52 home runs over his final two seasons in Atlanta. With Swanson out of the picture, Atlanta’s middle infield for 2023 is set to feature Ozzie Albies and young infielder Vaughn Grissom. That, however, could change before Opening Day.
On the pitching side of things, closer Kenley Jansen departed via free agency to join the Red Sox. Jansen led the National League in saves (41) and games finished (54) in 2022, but do have Raisel Iglesias to fall back on for this upcoming season.
The Braves are set to return one of the game’s elite cores yet again for 2023, but time is slowly ticking. Atlanta has done a tremendous job in recent years in terms of locking up its core, but star left-hander Max Fried is set to become a free agent after 2024. It’s not to say the Braves are in trouble should Fried leaves — the Braves front office has done an outstanding job assembling a young, powerful rotation. Nonetheless, Atlanta has a great opportunity to add another World Series title within the next two seasons, given the alignment of its roster.
With Sean Murphy and several new arms in the bullpen, Atlanta is in good shape to compete with the Mets and Phillies for supremacy in the NL East.