The Braves haven’t made any significant moves this offseason, but their NL East rivals have as the Mets inked Justin Verlander to a lucrative deal that will pay the 39-year-old over $43 million in 2022. They also brought in Jose Quintana and David Robertson, along with re-signing a couple of key pieces from last year in Edwin Diaz and Brandon Nimmo.
The Braves will never be able to outspend the likes of Steve Cohen and the Mets, Dodgers, Yankees, or any other big market organization. Still, Atlanta isn’t pinching pennies. The organization handed out over $500 million in contract extensions to Austin Riley, Matt Olson, Michael Harris II, and Spencer Strider over the last year or so, but the key with the Braves has always been value, and there aren’t many men better at finding it than Alex Anthopoulos.
This is an organization that has two of the most team-friendly deals in all of sports in Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuna Jr. And it only makes it more impressive when the team’s biggest rival is spending money hand over fist. So I figured it would be a perfect time to compare the two team’s top salaries.
New York Mets
- Max Scherzer — $43.3 million 2023 AAV ($43.3 million Luxury Tax Salary)
- Justin Verlander — $43.3 million ($43.3 million)
- Francisco Lindor — $34.1 million ($33.8 million)
- Starling Marte — $20.75 million ($19.5 million)
- Brandon Nimmo — $20.25 million ($20.25 million)
- Edwin Diaz — $14.15 million ($18.6 million)
- Top 6 Total: $175.85 million ($178.75 million Lux. Tax)
- Matt Olson — $21 million 2023 AAV ($21 million Luxury Tax Salary)
- Charlie Morton — $20 million ($20 million)
- Ronald Acuna Jr. — $17 million ($12.5 million)
- Raisel Iglesias — $16 million ($14.5 million)
- Marcell Ozuna — $16 million ($16.25 million)
- Austin Riley — $15 million ($21.2 million)
- Max Fried — $12.2 million (arbitration projection)
- Eddie Rosario — $9 million ($9 million)
- Travis d’Arnuad — $8 million ($8 million)
- Ozzie Albies — $7 million ($5 million)
- Top 10 Total: $141.2 million ($139.65 million Lux. Tax)
This list does not include players like Michael Harris II and Spencer Strider, whose salaries haven’t yet been reflected by their new contracts. Still, the exercise’s purpose is evident: the Mets are spending a ton of money to keep pace with what the Braves have built organically. Alex Anthopoulos has done an excellent job signing the core of the team to team-friendly, long-term deals. The Braves’ top 10 highest-paid players, which includes Max Fried’s projected salary, doesn’t even include key pieces of the club’s success that are already under contract like Kyle Wright, A.J. Minter, William Contreras, and Collin McHugh. It’s a testament to the organization’s ability to find and develop talent.
Photographer: Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire
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