The Atlanta Braves announced on Tuesday that they have agreed to an 8-year, $100 million contract extension with the 2018 National League Rookie of the Year, Ronald Acuña Jr., which was an extremely bright day for Braves Country. The contract includes two club options which can bring the total of the deal to 10 years, $124 million. In the press conference following the announcement, both RAJ and the Braves appeared to be very clear that there was every intention of keeping Acuña in Atlanta for his entire playing career. The announcement of this contract was met with near universal praise from Braves fans (which is no small feat) but was also met with a great deal of debate (which is a small feat). Fans shortly took to Twitter and to blogs in order to debate the merits of this contract, as many felt that this contract was the justification of a quiet offseason, while others felt that this contract was the result of Acuña’s agent leaving a lot of money on the table. The great news is, this contract is proof that you were right.
Yes, you were right. All of those other idiots were wrong about the front office, and you had it all along. Congratulations. You probably even held your front office take before anyone else, and this contract is definitive proof that only you (and the people who agree with you) were right.
If you thought that the front office had to have had a plan, and were intentionally holding back from signing free agents in the offseason for the purpose of unleashing this contract at the very moment that the calls for Alex Anthopoulos’s head were at their highest, then this contract is proof that the entire offseason was leading up to this. Nevermind the fact that the contract itself doesn’t come close to being a financial burden on the team, and that the contract doesn’t get borderline expensive until several years into the deal. Don’t worry about the fact that if RAJ continues his career trajectory, he will be grossly underpaid during what would’ve been some near record arbitration years, and this very well could be a contract that saves the team money over the long run. Your intellectual enemies complained that the team didn’t spend money, and the team spent money. You win, they lose.
If you thought that the front office is led by penny-pinching owners who have no interest in putting a competitive baseball team on the field, and who gleefully sat idly by counting their cash whilst the rest of the NL East turned into a nuclear arms race, then this contract is just more of the same out of this team. Nevermind that the team made a serious long-term commitment to a young star and that the contract carries with it a significant risk in the event of a serious injury or a decline in abilities. Don’t worry about the fact that Acuña set himself for life by making this deal, and it’s a smart business move for him to have long-term security well into his playing career. He’s going to be a perennial MVP candidate, and he’s about to be paid like Derek Lowe. These idiots carrying the water for the front office can’t see the light, and are just too stupid to see that this contract is a travesty, and a perfect example of the Braves front office only being interested in winning insofar as it profits their real estate endeavors.
That’s the versatility of this type of contract, because it serves as an ideal example that whatever you were already thinking about the Braves front office was completely and totally right. So raise your heads, Braves Country, because this is a contract that we can all feel good about, in our own way.