Friday, April 12, 2019

Braves sign Ozzie Albies to 7 year extension for $35M

Much in the same way I was in favor of the Ronald Acuna deal for allowing him to have security over his finances for the long-term, I'm in favor of the Albies deal because to him it had long-term value that will allow him to be a millionaire for the rest of his life.

Remember, value is in the eye of the beholder. Fans generally hate to see the local free agent guy bet on himself, leave the local team, and take as much money as he can from the Yankees or the Red Sox. Time and time again I see people complain on social media, burn jerseys, or boo the player for taking the big deal in another town.

Yet, if a guy takes a seemingly lesser deal for financial security? Fans freak out and say he left money on the table, what was he thinking? I'm not like that. I see a contract for Albies that makes total sense for him and his family. He's taking a long term insurance policy of $35M that is fully guranteed against all injuries, bad play, and unforeseen circumstances.

Could Albies if he's a complete amazing talent over the long haul make more money? Of course, but the likelihood that he could struggle or get hurt is just as prevelent. And let's not forget that Albies size would be an issue on the open market at some point. As much as Braves fans love the kid, he was only a .757 OPS hitter in 2018 even with 24 homers. I also have to figure that 24 homers is an anomaly for a 2nd baseman that hit only 31 in his entire minor league career.

Julio Teheran took a similar deal when he was 23, and got $32.5M over 6 years. People questioned the deal then, but I think if you look at Teheran's lack of great play over that contract, he made the right decision. If Teheran had bet on himself, he wouldn't be set for life on his first major contract deal. He made the call to take the sure thing, and it paid off. One of the few times you'll see me credit Teheran for anything.

I'm not saying Ozzie will fail or he will succeed. What I'm saying is that $35M is still more money than most people will ever see in a lifetime, and it's enough to never worry about money ever again. For a kid out of Curacao whose father passed away recently from a heart attack in 2013? Ozzie knows that life is short and that he's the patriarch of his family now. People look to him to secure not just his legacy but the family as well. It was important for him to take the deal so he did.

On the surface it's also a great deal for the Braves because it locks up a long term talent. If Ozzie plays well it's a great contract for them. If he plays poorly it's essentially going to amount to one year of Josh Donaldson when they want to write it off. I say good for the management team figuring out what was important to both Acurna and Albies and make the appropriate deals.

I like where the future of this team is heading.


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