The Braves find a way to even make no-baseball off days not boring:
#Braves Sign RHP Spencer Strider: pic.twitter.com/GkCLX1uSEF— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) October 10, 2022
The press release pretty much says it all. Strider was probably going to be a free agent after the 2027 season, so this extension grabs an extra year, and includes a club option.
While the Braves await the verdict on whether Strider is available to pitch in the NLDS, there’s no denying he’s been a wrecking ball of pitching production so far. On the year, he has 4.9 fWAR across 20 starts and 11 relief appearances, which is eighth in MLB among all pitchers this year, and just marginally behind Max Fried’s 5.0 mark.
One thing worth noting about this deal is the somewhat odd payment structure: Strider will get token amounts for the next three years, followed by hefty payments of $20 million or more afterwards. Given that he pitches and his pitching profile seems especially rife for injury risk, all of this presents the sort of gamble that you rarely see teams take with their pre-arbitration or arbitration-eligible hurlers. Look no further than Mike Soroka (and his admittedly freak injury and then re-injury) for the dangers of doing so after a successful pitching season.
Still, the Braves have made it a point to secure much of a core for the next decade, and they are making Strider a big piece of that with this deal.
Stay tuned for analysis and the like.