Atlanta Braves, Ronald Acuna Jr. Close to Baffling Extension Deal

After shining in his rookie season with the Atlanta Braves, Ronald Acuna Jr. might soon be rewarded with an extension deal worth in excess of $100M. Here is everything you need to know.

There’s something happening in baseball, and nothing exemplifies it more than the current deal being worked out between Ronald Acuna Jr. and the Atlanta Braves. According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the deal is for 8-years, $100M. There’s more to the deal than that, however…

This development is baffling because it illustrates once more how younger players are willing to forego free agency presumably because of how slow the market has been over the last few years. In exchange, they’re settling for less, guaranteed money.

Sure, Acuna only has one year under his belt and the soonest he can become a free agent is in 2025. This current deal, however, could potentially take him into the 2028 season, thereby forfeiting three years of free agency.

At Acuna’s current age (21), this could be bad news for the stud outfielder.

If Acuna allows the full 10-years to play out, he’ll be 31-years old when he becomes eligible to become a free agent. At that point, given current trends, no team will offer him the blockbuster contract Manny Machado, Bryce Harper, Nolan Arenado, and Mike Trout got this offseason.

Don’t get me wrong, $100M is a lot of money, especially for a player out of Venezuela, but as a business move, this just doesn’t make much sense for Acuna.

Hypothetically speaking, once he becomes arbitration-eligible in 2021, he should definitely be able to exceed the guaranteed $12.5M AAV being offered in this deal. What’s more, once he becomes a free agent in 2025, at 26-27 years of age, he could potentially get Harper money.

All of this is contingent on Acuna staying healthy, however.

One thing that’s for sure is that players, like Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel, still sitting on the market is sending shivers throughout the world of baseball. The Atlanta Braves are capitalizing on a players fear of not getting paid.