1. Ronald Acuna & Ozzie Albies Signings
This move was a stroke of genius by Anthopoulos. It’s a well-known fact around Atlanta that Ronald Acuna and Ozzie Albies are very close friends. It’s also a fact, around all of baseball, that Acuna and Albies are two very special players. Acuna being an MVP candidate in his third full season and at age 22. Also, Albies is 22.
At the start of last season, for Acuna, it was April 2nd, the Braves announced the team had agreed to an eight-year, 100 million dollar deal. Just a few days later, the Braves announced the team had agreed to a seven-year, 35 million dollar deal. Both deals came as somewhat of a shock considering their age and the contract details.
With both Acuna and Albies being so young, both contracts work great for both sides. Acuna and Albies will get to avoid arbitration and free agency with some long-term security while having more than enough time to sign a second, more lucrative contract. Acuna and Albies will both be in their primes at the end of these current contracts giving them more than enough time to make up any lost money.
For the Braves, Alex Anthopoulos locked down the two young cornerstones of the franchise for most of the next decade. There are options for the Braves to get out of the deals early if needed, but I don’t see that being a problem for Acuna and Albies. By signing the pair to a long-term deal, AA assured the Braves would remain a contender for the foreseeable future while giving himself enough wiggle room to continue to surround the pair with talent. It was a prudent, wise move from AA.