NORTH PORT, Fla. — All along, the Braves wanted Eddie Rosario back on their team for 2022.

Throughout his free agency, Rosario told the Braves they were his first choice.

The two sides Wednesday agreed to a two-year deal worth $18 million guaranteed, with a club option for 2024. The contract, which doesn’t include a buyout, will pay Rosario $9 million in each of the next two seasons.

ExplorePhotos: Matt Olson, Braves at spring training

It marked the latest in a flurry of moves by Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos, who is looking to position his team to repeat as champions when all is said and done this year.

“I feel better that if we had to start the season today, we have a good-enough group,” he said after signing Rosario. “That doesn’t mean we’re satisfied, but I definitely feel like, with the last three, four days, we have much more depth as a club.”

The latest noteworthy move: The Braves brought back a postseason hero who starred during their magical run and was the NLCS MVP. Not only is it a feel-good story in that sense, but it represents a logical move as the Braves round out their roster.

ExploreEddie Rosario named MVP of 2021 NLCS

The Braves, who are heavy on right-handed hitters, needed another left-handed bat in the lineup. They also had to add a solid outfielder. Rosario checks both boxes and strengthens their lineup on both sides of the plate.

“A left-handed bat was important,” Anthopoulos said. “I think last year was the most balanced our lineup was, when you look at having the guys that we did with Joc (Pederson) and Rosario and Freddie (Freeman) and Ozzie (Albies), and just having that depth in the lineup is huge for other teams to have to navigate and work through. And also just having a contact bat is important, too.”

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Over 16 playoff games in 2021, 15 of them starts, Rosario, who hit .383, tallied three doubles, a triple, three home runs and 11 RBIs. He posted an incredible 1.073 OPS over that span, which further validated Anthopoulos’ decision to acquire him.

But these numbers should not translate to 2022 expectations for Rosario.

That would be unrealistic, Anthopoulos said.

Rosario’s track record includes a career .782 OPS. Over seven big-league seasons, the 30-year-old has an 18.5% strikeout rate, which is pretty solid. (In this category in 2021, qualified hitters ranged from as low as 7.4% to as high as 34.6%). The Braves see him as a good contact bat with solid bat-to-ball skills, which is important for a lineup that looks much stronger now than it did two days ago.

“Guys that can make contact, especially with the stuff that (Rosario) faces in the NL East and from the left side with how right-handed our team is, it’s a really nice balance,” Anthopoulos said.

A bonus: The guys in the clubhouse, the GM said, love Rosario. After the Braves completed the deal, Anthopoulos went and told some players, whom he said were excited to hear the news.

Rosario can play all three outfield positions. But with the Braves’ current roster, it seems Rosario will be the primary left fielder because the club likes Adam Duvall in center field. Duvall played there a lot in the postseason last year and appears likely to be the opening-day center fielder, though that thinking could change between now and April 7.

According to FanGraphs, Rosario in 2020 saved three runs with his left field defense and then saved two more last year.

The Braves on Monday acquired first baseman Matt Olson, which marked the first domino in the remainder of their offseason work. Then Anthopoulos extended Olson before signing right-handed reliever Collin McHugh. Now he’s signed Rosario and Alex Dickerson. (Dickerson will compete to make the roster).

The Braves’ lineup looks strong. To begin the year, they’ll have names including Olson, Albies and Austin Riley to go along with two outfielders mentioned in this story. They could have Ronald Acuña back in late May.

When the lockout ended, Anthopoulos knew he needed to add to his club. He felt he had to act quickly.

So, what’s next?

“You always love to add, right? I just don’t know that we’ll be able to do it,” Anthopoulos said. “There’s always room to add – offense, rotation, bullpen – it’s what deals present themselves. We would take all three if we could.”