This winter was the year of extensions. If you were a young, quality player who was coming up on your arbitration years, you were due for a multi-year, team-friendly extension.
Names like Aaron Nola, Luis Severino, German Marquez, Sonny Gray, Aaron Hicks, Miles Mikolas, Carlos Carrasco, Blake Snell, Alex Bregman, Max Kepler, Whit Merrifield, Ronald Acuna, David Bote, Kyle Hendricks, Jorge Polanco, and many, MANY more all got paid.
And, for the most part, they were all VERY team friendly deals, with only a handful receiving deals with AAV’s exceeding $10 million.
This new wave of extensions reached its apex when it was announced that the Braves had reached an agreement with their All-star second baseman Ozzie Albies.
Albies, 22, is already in his third year in the league and has seemingly only gotten better since debuting in 2017. In his first full season last year, Albies played 158 games, smacked 24 home runs, hit .261, slugged over .450, earned an All-star nod, and was a huge part of the so-called “Baby Braves” and their rise to the NL East division crown.
Albies is obviously a player the Braves want around for a very long time, and they looked to ink an extension. And they got it.
And it was one of the biggest bargains, literally, I have ever heard of, and perhaps the worst deal, from a players standpoint, we’ve ever seen.
7 years, $35 million. The average annual value of $5 million. I think Jeff Passan put it best when he said
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
Now, I’m not gonna act like $5 million per year is chump change, literally, anyone and their mother would take $5 million for 7 years to stand around in a button down and catch and throw a baseball. But Albies is a top 10-second baseman in the game, he’s only 22 years old, he’s only going to get better with age. His teammate, Ronald Acuna, who is one year younger than Albies, just signed his own Extension for 8 years at $100 million. I’m not saying that Albies deserves to be paid as much as last year’s Rookie of the Year, but I am saying that he deserved WAY more money.
I don’t know if it was Albies’ agent’s fault, or if it was the team’s fault, or what, but someone screwed up BIG time, and the Braves just got themselves a cornerstone player for the next seven years for the cost of what Mike Trout makes in one year.
God, baseball is weird.
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