The Braves are pissing a lot of other fan bases off with their recent contract extensions. It all started with the deals that Ronald Acuna Jr. and Ozzie Albies signed a few years ago. More recently, it was Michael Harris II and Austin Riley who both signed lucrative extensions during the season. And now, it’s Spencer Strider, who inked a six-year extension to stay in Atlanta that comes with an option for the 2029 season. The club might not be done either; Alex Anthopoulos indicated in an interview with 92.9’s Grant McAuley that more contract extensions could be on the horizon.
I caught up with #Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos to discuss Spencer Strider's extension, the young core set to play together for a long time, and the NLDS matchup with the Phillies.
— Grant McAuley (@grantmcauley) October 10, 2022
It makes sense that Strider’s deal got done before some of the team’s impending free agents. Contract discussions can sometimes be meticulous and come to fruition very quickly, especially when a player has more leverage than someone negotiating through arbitration years like Strider and Harris.
Alex Anthopoulos literally never sleeps. It’s incredible. The man works 24/7, and he’s going to have a few more sleepless nights because there are still players in need of new contracts. Chiefly, Dansby Swanson‘s situation must be addressed. The Georgia native is the most pressing free agent the Braves have on the roster, set to hit the open market following this season.
After losing Freddie Freeman last offseason, seeing Swanson leave could prove detrimental to the Braves. Leadership matters in sports, and the former No. 1 overall pick is the sheriff in the clubhouse.
"I do get on them occasionally because they're young and stupid."
— Bally Sports: Braves (@BravesOnBally) October 10, 2022
However, Swanson isn’t the only one. He’s just the most pressing. Max Fried and AJ Minter are only under contract for one more season. The former will command top dollar as one of, if not the best lefties in baseball. Swanson playing every day makes him more valuable, but Fried is a close second. He’s the ace of this staff and a leader of the team in his own right. Minter has turned into one of the better relievers in baseball, and extending him is also likely on AA’s to-do list, though he’d be easier to replace than the other two.
Regardless of how those situations play out, the Braves are set up for the next decade. Alex Anthopoulos has done a masterful job locking up the young core of this team — thanks to The Battery, Braves Country’s support, and of course, winning baseball games. Just check out some of AA’s work:
Austin Riley — 2032
Michael Harris II — 2032
Matt Olson — 2030
Spencer Strider — 2029
Ronald Acuña Jr — 2028
Vaughn Grissom — 2028
Ozzie Albies — 2027
William Contreras — 2027
Kyle Wright — 2026
Photo: David John Griffin/Icon Sportswire