Braves Signal Austin Riley for a 10-year extension

Braves announce that they have signed a third star Austin Riley Ten-year contract extension, $212 million. Riley will earn $15 million next season, $21 million in 2024, then $22 million annually through 2032. The deal also includes a 2033 club option priced worth 20 million dollars. Riley is a client of ALIGND Sports Agency.

It’s a great, out-of-the-box development that helps keep a franchise mainstay alive for the long haul. The deal buys the 25-year-old’s final three seasons as a referee and extends the club’s term of control to eight years. It locked him up in Atlanta for most of his prime, as Riley wouldn’t reach free agency until his campaign at 35 at the earliest.

Once an additional pick in the first round, Riley quickly became one of the organization’s top prospects. He hit the big leagues not long after his 22nd birthday in 2019. Riley had his ups and downs during the first few seasons of his major league career, particularly when he scored in over 36% of appearances as a rookie. However, Atlanta has stuck with him despite that initial inconsistency, and they have been rewarded since Riley exploded onto the scene last year.

Riley appeared in 160 games last season, creating 33 home runs with .303/.367/.531. That marks a climax in a long playing career so far, but that marker won’t be his best form for much longer. He’s connected with 29 host players in 436 appearances this season and he’s totaled .301 / .360 / .604. Riley’s pure line of decline hasn’t changed much from 2021 to 22, but his slight improvement in business results comes at a time when league-wide offense has plummeted this year. . As measured by wRC+, Riley’s attack output went from 35 points above the already excellent average to 63 points above average.

Among the qualified giants, only Yordan Alvarez, Aaron Judge, Paul Goldschmidt, rafael devers and Mike Trout yes wRC+ this season is better than Riley. That’s bolstered by batting stats rather than placing Riley among the game’s elite racquets. His 93.7 MPH average exit speed is 5 MPH higher than the league average. His 55.9% hard contact rate is also among the best in the league, as is his 17.6% barrel rate. Simply put, few hitters hit the ball as hard as Riley usually does.

Of course, Riley’s power was never really in question. His problem earlier in his career was frequent contact, but the Mississippi native has made incredible strides in that regard. After touching the ball only 63% of the time as a rookie, Riley has held the ball about 73% of the time in each of the last three seasons. That wasn’t great, but it was more than enough for a player with his power production ability. Riley still has a positive approach and goes out of the attacking zone reasonably well, but his superb batting results make up for a walk rate that can always be a bit below the rate. average walk.

Back at the beginning of 2021, Riley owned the number of slashes .302 / .364 / .560 after less than 1100 appearances on the number plate. He looks like a good slugger, and the Braves are certainly happy to lock him in the middle of the roster for the next decade. Riley won the Silver Slugger Award and placed seventh in the NL MVP poll last year, and he claimed the first of what the club predicts will be many All-Star nods. top this season.

The Braves have now committed to taking 75% of their internals over the long term. Atlanta signed Matt Olson with an 8-year $168 million deal within days of acquiring him from Athletics in Spring Training. Previously they had Ozzie Albies contracted at a reasonable cost through 2025 (with club options for 2026 and ’27). Those leaves Dansby Swanson as the only member of the Atlanta internals not under contract for the foreseeable future, as the short leg is set to reach free agency later this year.

Atlanta also has Ronald Acuña Jr. under contract for most of the decade, giving them a young player at the core to build on. According to Jason Martinez’s estimate of Squad Resources, the club’s 2023 payrolls increase to approximately $113 million for next season (excluding wages for referee-eligible players). They cost about $87 million for 2024 and between $60 million and $70 million over the next two years. Atlanta’s 2022 payroll, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts, is franchise file 177.7 million US dollars. That will give them the flexibility to re-sign or replace Swanson, especially since key contributors like Michael Harris II, Kyle Wright, Spencer Strider and Ian Anderson won’t reach umpire until at least 2024. It’s a solid long-term position for president of baseball operations Alex Anthopoulos and his staff as they look to build on last year’s World Series title. and build a lasting team.

More will come.

Leave a Comment