Ronald Acuña Jr: “It’s no secret I want to be a Brave for life”

Ronald Acuña

The reigning NL MVP Ronald Acuña Jr. has arrived early to Braves Spring Training, and it didn’t take him long to remind Atlanta why he is the most beloved athlete in the city.

“It’s no secret I want to be a Brave for life,” Acuña said in his first appearance with the media since the offseason. “That’s my hope. I hope I can stay here forever. Hopefully, we can make it happen soon.”

That should have all of Braves Country entering the weekend on a much higher note. Obviously, there’s no question the Braves want to make sure Acuña spends his entire career in Atlanta. He’s the most talented athlete to ever wear a Braves uniform, and one could make a pretty solid argument he’s the most talented athlete in Atlanta sports history.

But beyond that, rival fan bases and even some members of the national media have to be sick to their stomachs. For years, they have attempted to push the narrative that Ronald Acuña Jr. is upset because the Braves “took advantage of him” by signing him early to a 10-year, $100 million contract. They want him to hate the Braves so badly, yet Acuña has never once made a negative comment regarding the organization, and now he says this.

How could that be possible?

Now, it’s time for Alex Anthopoulos to do what he does best. I’ve mentioned on a handful of occasions that it’s about time to get back to the negotiating table with Acuña. There is no imminent rush, as he’s under contract through the 2028 season, but the sooner they hand him a lifetime contract, the more beneficial it is going to be for the Braves.

Acuña is undoubtedly the best position player in baseball. The only player close to his level is Shohei Ohtani, who just inked a $700 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. However, as we learned, almost all of that money is deferred. The actual net present value of the contract is around $460 million.

If Ronald Acuña Jr. reaches free agency, he will undoubtedly be in line for a contract north of $500 million. Everyone outside of Braves Country is begging for that to become a reality, but I have seen no signs from Acuña that he desires to be the highest paid player in the game. The Braves easily have the funds to hand him generational wealth that will last until his grandkids’ grandkids’ grandkids are walking the earth.

It’s something to look forward to, and as I said, the sooner it gets hammered out, the better it will be for the Atlanta Braves.

Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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