So Anthopoulos arrived in San Diego with near ideal positioning. He has only one true need: Power in the lineup, ideally from third base. He has luxury of money and prospects to make for ample options.
Josh Donaldson remains unsigned; if the Braves keep him at what they deem is a fair cost, chalk this up as a successful offseason regardless of ensuing moves. The organization insists it wants to retain him, though if he departs, it may have to add power in the outfield instead.
Donaldson was the presumed key to the team’s winter, but the Braves haven’t waited around. They aggressively plugged their other holes, and should Donaldson leave, they still have options to replace him while strengthening their club in other ways.
The rotation isn’t necessarily completed. The Braves could target another veteran starter - yes, Madison Bumgarner among them - to fortify their starting group, especially if the Donaldson money must be reallocated. They could add another outfielder, though it’s unlikely to be a bigger investment with top prospects Cristian Pache and Drew Waters lurking.
However Donaldson’s free agency plays out, Anthopoulos should be a popular figure in San Diego. He’s heading a franchise clearly motivated to turn a good regular-season team into a playoff menace. He’s equipped with a likely franchise-record payroll and plentiful prospects to make that happen. Teams selling off their pivotal contributors in hopes of better days ahead will want to do business with Anthopoulos.
As we’ve seen under this regime, everything is on the table for the Braves. They have one obvious flaw but could still upgrade several spots. Whether its Donaldson or a replacement, once resolved, it’s even easier for the Braves to focus on wants rather than needs. Anthopoulos has so often been creative in assembling the roster. It’s safe to assume he’ll be creative again.