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What the hell is this contract that Ozzie Albies just signed?

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.

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.

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.

  • Manny b

    I’m all in favor of players locking in their financial future, it’s their right. But besides making the agents look stupid, this makes the Braves look REALLY bad.

  • Terry Mesmer

    I don’t get how the team looks bad. This is on the agents and players. Unless someone can demonstrate the team did something dishonest or against the rules…
    Remember when teams signed free agents to huge contracts then demanded the league stop them from doing so via a salary cap or luxury tax? The current complaints are just as illogical.

  • El Cabeza

    “EDIT: Yiiiiiikes. Nice work taking advantage of this guy, Braves.”

    They’re not taking advantage of him. He’s an adult and he has a professional agent advising him. He could ruin his knee tomorrow, rr his brain could go full Knoblauch and nobody could take $35m away from him.