Insert jesse dot he can’t keep getting away with this dot scream.
The Atlanta Braves did it again, extending another young player on a long-term deal that, if their calculations are correct, will leave the player hilariously underpaid in the years ahead. You have to respect the ability to get these deals done, even if it leaves some level of frustration among certain fan bases …
This time, it’s breakout outfielder Michael Harris II getting an eight-year, $72 million deal, with a couple cheap team options thereafter:
Harris, who is just 21 and leapt straight from Double-A to the bigs earlier this year, is hitting .287/.325/.500/126 wRC+ over his first 71 big league games, while playing outstanding outfield defense. Insofar as a 21-year-old player with limited professional experience could establish himself as a stud, Harris is one.
So why sign this deal? Well, remember, this is a guy who is still three years away from even having his first taste of arbitration, and now he’s guaranteed himself at least $72 million. If the league discovers some fatal flaw in his game, or if he suffers the kind of injury that degrades his performance significantly, or whatever, he has changed his life forever. I totally get why some players sign these deals, even if you KNOW the Players Association hates it.
For the Braves, although there’s some risk of that stuff happening and then they’ve got $9M AAV of dead money on the books for nearly a decade, that’s not that major of a blow. They can absorb it with relative ease, and, of course, that’s an unlikely outcome anyway. This is just a straight up, full stop, incredible deal for the Atlanta Braves.
And I hate it.
Harris joins Austin Riley, Matt Olson, Ronald Acuña Jr., and Ozzie Albies as having signed extensions with the Braves in recent years.