By CHARLES ODUM
AP Sports Writer
VENICE, Fla. (AP) — Atlanta’s trade for Matt Olson was designed to ensure the defending World Series champion Braves will be contenders in 2022. Signing Olson to an eight-year deal only one day later was the foundation of a plan by general manager Alex Anthopoulos to keep Atlanta competitive through the decade. As soon as it became clear the Braves and Freeman wouldn’t reach a deal, Anthopoulos shifted to a new a long-term plan. The GM says he worked through the night to complete the new deal for Olson before the introductory news conference because it was crucial that Braves players knew this was a long-term answer at first base.