Swanson’s bat needs to make strides, but the team loves his defense and intangibles. Albies was an All-Star and, despite the second-half struggles, is locked in at second. Freeman, of course, is a perennial MVP candidate.
The Braves were previously linked to star free agent Manny Machado, but that was always an unlikelihood. Anthopoulos has money and prospects to invest in improvements, but to do so in the infield would be neglecting more important areas. Machado’s likely historic deal isn’t how Anthopoulos will operate.
“We don’t view the infield as an area of need,” he said. “We do need a corner outfielder. We do need somebody else to catch with (Tyler) Flowers. If other opportunities present themselves, rotation, bullpen, we’ll look at that.”
Anthopoulos again said the team is open to re-signing Nick Markakis and Kurt Suzuki to fill their two needs, though it’s obvious they’re exploring alternatives first. They’re also hopeful of upgrading the bench, perhaps adding another versatile player in the Charlie Culberson-mold or a bat with some power.