Alex Anthopolous and the Atlanta Braves continued their spree of locking up their core of young talent, this time signing 22-year-old second baseman Ozzie Albies to a seven-year deal that will pay him *checks notes* a grand total of *checks again* $35 million guaranteed. The deal can pay him a maximum of $45 million over nine years if two team options are exercised.
Albies, who has slashed a .272/.323/.456 line with 31 homers and 101 runs batted in so far in 226 career games with the Braves, was under team control until 2024 season. In signing this deal, the 2018 All-Star surrendered possibly four future free agent years beyond the five more years of control the Braves already had.
In the past few weeks, Anthopolous has locked up two key pieces of his team’s core, Albies and Ronald Acuna Jr, for the next decade at just $24 million per season. That’s just slightly more than the team is paying Josh Donaldson this year as a reclamation project.
Dan Uggla was a Rule 5 pick who reached MLB as a 26-year-old in 2006. He reached free agency at age 32. He made $75 million in 10 years in the majors. Ozzie Albies reached the majors at age 20 in 2017. He was an all-star at 21. He will make $46 million over his first 10 MLB yrs.
— JJ Cooper (@jjcoop36) April 11, 2019
Albies has guaranteed that he can make no more than $46 million over the first 10 years of his Major League career. As JJ Cooper posted above, Dan fucking Uggla, a Rule 5 pick who didn’t break into the league until he was 26, made significantly more than that in his 10-year career. For more context, Jed Lowrie is making more money to bounce around the league, Rougned Odor will be making like three times as much just to swing at everything, Javier Baez made more in his first go at arbitration, and the rotting husk of Brian Dozier made more in free agency this winter despite the strange market.
It's typical that agents criticize competitors' deals. But I've now heard from executives, players, analytics people, development side and scouts who are saying the same thing: The Ozzie Albies extension might be the worst contract ever for a player. And this is not hyperbole.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) April 11, 2019
when someone sent me the details of the Albies contract I thought the dollar figure had to be a typo. this is a brutal deal for the player. Just brutal.
— keithlaw (@keithlaw) April 11, 2019
The new Braves regime walked into a dream situation with Acuna/Albies: two phenoms that got low amateur bonuses, came up/want to stay together, got there fast & both were repped by small agencies. Heavy rumors the agents were nervous they would lose the kids before they got paid. https://t.co/owvRUC846W
— Kiley McDaniel (@kileymcd) April 11, 2019
Blah blah blah it’s more money than me, you, and anyone we know will ever make in their life so we shouldn’t get bent out of shape about this. I know, I know. But still, Albies has All-Star upside and has already been worth 5.7 wins above replacement over his young Major League career. This is a shockingly team-friendly deal to sign, and it’s one that I’m sure the Major League Baseball Player’s Association isn’t going to be overly thrilled about.
It’s strange times out there, folks. The Major League Baseball’s Collective Bargaining Agreement expires on December 1, 2021, and the more stuff like this happens, the more likely we are to see a lengthy strike from the players.
EDIT: Yiiiiiikes. Nice work taking advantage of this guy, Braves.
Albies: "I don't look at it just from money because I'm not playing for money. I'm playing for my career. I took it because I want my family to be safe."
— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) April 11, 2019