Braves: Ronald Acuña’s contract situation could still work out better for him than Fernando Tatis’

9531910031221 atl v stl

In case you missed it, late Wednesday night the Padres inked their star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. to an unprecedented 14-year extension worth over $300 million that included a no-trade clause and no opt-outs.

Tatis Jr. took very little time to make his mark on the league. San Diego called him up in 2019, and he nearly did enough in 84 games to win Rookie of the Year (he finished third), slashing .317/.379/.590, but that was only the beginning.

Tatis tore the cover off the ball to begin the shortened 2020 campaign, smacking 12 homers with a 1.124 OPS in the first 26 games. It looked like he was going to runaway with the NL MVP but a slump to end the season forced him to settle for fourth in the voting. Still, that’s not too shabby for a 21-year-old in his first full season (even if it was a shortened 60-game schedule). His scorching hot start is eerily similar to a certain Braves superstar in his early 20s, but their respective contracts are not.

At the very beginning of the 2019 season (Acuña’s second year in the league), Alex Anthopoulos jumped the gun and inked his young superstar to a lengthy 10-year, $100 million contract. It didn’t take long for media members outside of Atlanta to be up in arms, claiming the Braves took advantage of a young player who isn’t familiar with his worth. A part of that may be true, but I don’t think anyone inking a nine figure contract is ever being taken advantage of, and there’s still a fantastic chance that Acuña ends up making significantly more than Tatis over their careers.

Sure, Tatis’ deal gives him all the protection in the world after playing less than a full season’s worth of games. Nobody could possibly complain about that. However, his 14-year contract will take him through his age-35 season. By that time, there likely won’t be any club willing to offer him a deal more than a couple of years. Meanwhile, that couldn’t be further from the truth for Acuña.

The Braves phenom may have signed for pennies compared to Tatis, but he will hit the open market smack-dab in the middle of his prime. And by 2029, who knows how large these baseball contracts will be. If Acuña continues to take strides forward — which I think almost everyone would agree that he will — he could be in for another 10+ year contract, this time worth over half-a-billion.

As far as the Braves are concerned, Alex Anthopoulos absolutely committed highway robbery. $100 million over ten years for one of the best players in the game is a bargain a general manager can only dream of. However, nobody should be feeling bad for Acuña. As long as he stays healthy, he has a fantastic chance of making significantly more money than Tatis over his career… even if it doesn’t feel that way today.


Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: