The Braves did it again late last night, locking up the newly acquired Sean Murphy for six years with a club option in year seven. In total, the deal could be worth $88 million if the option is picked up, which is a bargain for a catcher that many already consider a top-five player at his position. Who knows exactly how Alex Anthopoulos is able to consistently lock players up on long deals well below their market rate, but nobody can call it a fluke anymore. The Braves have a way they go about business, and it’s working, which Alex Anthopoulos commented on following the decision to extend Sean Murphy.
"I do believe everything you do should be team-specific. In my view, with the way that things are set up, this is what works for the Braves."
Following Sean Murphy's contract extension, Alex Anthopoulos discusses Atlanta's strategy of locking up core players to long-term deals. pic.twitter.com/oVA0OtB8qJ
— Bally Sports: Braves (@BravesOnBally) December 28, 2022
Anthopoulos begins the video by discussing the risk the Braves take on when doing these deals, which is something I want to focus on.
Everybody who isn’t a fan of the Braves is up in arms about how the Braves keep getting away with highway robbery, yet we still don’t know how any of these deals are going to pan out. There are thousands of examples of players beginning their careers strongly and then falling off a cliff. Injuries also play a factor; don’t you think Mike Soroka would have loved to have inked a long-term extension with the Braves before tearing his Achilles in back-to-back seasons?
There’s a chance Spencer Strider undergoes another Tommy John surgery over the next couple of years and is never the same. Michael Harris II could regress substantially in his second season. Sean Murphy really only has one year of elite production under his belt. There’s a chance all of these contracts don’t end up as fantastic deals for the Braves. I’m confident most of them will, but I’m also convinced not all of them will.
Players want to play in Atlanta, and Anthopoulos is putting a tremendous amount of trust in their potential and availability. These contracts aren’t unfair, and every organization has the opportunity to sign their players to similar deals.
Still, as a Braves fan, you have to like the outlook of the organization, which Sean Murphy discussed after signing his new contract.
Sean Murphy on being part of collection of young players locked up long-term: "It feels unique. … You like everything about it (list of players). … Going forward I can't imagine this team being anything but great." #Braves
— Cory McCartney (@coryjmccartney) December 28, 2022
It’s an amazing time to be apart of Braves Country. The talent already on the roster is second-to-none, and the organization is spending more than they ever have before. I understand why other teams are envious, but unfortunately for them, the Braves will only be getting a lot better before they get worse.
Photo: Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire
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