It's tough watching a divisional rival win the World Series, especially after having led the division yourself and it coming down to the final, bitter end. The Atlanta Braves won 88 games this season, the only team to earn a postseason berth with less than 90 wins.
And yet they still won the World Series over the Houston Astros who weren't allowed to cheat this time around. Pretty incredible stuff.
However, their win provides hope for a team like the Philadelphia Phillies. The Braves only led the National League East for a few days during the season and had to battle to keep it at the end.
Aside from a few good trade deadline acquisitions in Jorge Soler, Joc Pederson, Eddie Rosario, and Adam Duvall, Atlanta was much of the same team all season. However, their trades gave them an unprecedented amount of production, and they didn't have to sacrifice too much to get them.
Their World Series victory should give a team like the Phillies hope. As long as you get into the postseason, there is a chance.
The Phillies should know that a few additions could put them in contention. An active free agency period is in front of them. The Braves were lucky. Their acquisitions made a massive impact during the season, and most importantly, during the postseason, with two of their deadline acquisitions bringing home the NLCS and World Series MVP, respectively.
Regardless, this could have been the Phillies.
Trading for Kyle Gibson and Ian Kennedy was smart. But those moves, along with acquiring Freddy Galvis, was only a band aid. The Phillies had some holes in their roster, but the Braves had more. One moved to fill them and one didn't. The other won the World Series.
But, not all hope is lost. Philadelphia can still add to their roster and make up the ground. President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski is incredibly aggressive and owner John Middleton knows this. It's why he hired him.
The Phillies must fully address the gaps in their roster. And like the Braves proved, they aren't far off from being contenders. If anything, they are positioned to be right in the mix.
Atlanta added what at the time seemed like "fringe" players, but they heavily contributed in not just making the postseason but winning the World Series.
The Phillies are arguably closer.
Their lineup and rotation, when healthy, are ones to be reckoned with. Like Atlanta, a few more key additions could mean the Phillies make the postseason and from there, who knows?
If Atlanta winning the World Series means anything it means the Phillies are right there. It will just take some smart acquisitions this winter, and perhaps at the 2022 trade deadline. The clock is ticking for the Phillies, as they are in the midst of the primes of their core players. The time is now. If you think you're close, go all in, it could result in a championship.
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