The Atlanta Braves are back. They announced Monday morning that they signed right-handed pitcher Spencer Strider to a six-year, $75 million deal that will keep him with the Braves until at least 2028. The contract also contains a club option for 2029.
On average, Strider, who is 23 and was the Braves’ fourth-round draft pick in 2020, will earn $12.5 million a year, but the contract isn’t paid that way. He will earn $1 million in 2023 and 2024, $4 million in 2025, $20 million in 2026, and $22 million in 2027 and 2028. His 2029 club option is worth $22 million or a $5 million buyout. dollars.
Strider made his Braves debut in 2021, pitching in just two games before the season ended. He came back and kicked off just about a full 2022, appearing in 31 games with 20 starts and finishing the season with a 2.67 ERA and 202 strikeouts in 131.2 innings. He started the year in the bullpen, but joined the rotation on May 30 and never looked back. He played in six games this season in which he struck out at least 10 and set the Braves record for most strikeouts in a single game against when he fanned 16 Colorado Rockies batters in eight innings. last month.
He had a heckuva rookie season, so it’s no surprise the Braves locked him in. He could even make his playoff debut in the coming week. He’s been on the disabled list with an oblique strain since Sept. 24, but he could be ready to face the Philadelphia Phillies in the next National League Divisional Series.
It’s all part of the Braves’ plan
Signing Strider at just 23 and barely a year of major league service is the kind of thing the Braves are known for. They’ve been locking down many of their young stars over the past few years, keeping them with the herd while controlling their impact on the payroll. Ronald Acuna signed an 8-year contract with the Braves in 2019 worth $100 million. Ozzie Albies also signed a long-term deal with the Braves in 2019, which pays him $7 million a year until at least 2025.
All of these offers are below market (they pay less than the player would on the open market) and for at least 4 years, which makes it easier to manage payroll as there is no question of arbitrage . But they also maintain a high performing team so they can continue to do what they were created to do: win.
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