The Braves appear to have gotten the ultimate bargain with Ronald Acuña Jr. once the news of Fernando Tatis Jr.’s deal dropped.
The San Diego Padres broke baseball Twitter on Wednesday by handing out a new 14-year, $340 million contract for Fernando Tatis Jr. The 22-year-old has now gone from a bright young star to an official face of the game.
This deal bought out the remainder of Tatis’ team-controlled years and is similar to the strategy used by the Atlanta Braves with Ronald Acuña Jr. The only difference is the Braves made out like bandits on that deal.
Braves got a massive bargain with Ronald Acuna.
Acuña signed an eight-year, $100 million dollar at the start of the 2019 season. The young star was 21 years old and secured himself a lifetime of riches after one year at the major league level.
But plenty of fans may feel like he is severely underpaid now that Tatis set the bar so high. There are a few ways to look at this.
The first is to consider the Padres an anomaly. Paying someone who has never played a full MLB season this kind of money is a huge risk and plenty of teams may never even consider doing such a thing. Teams also don’t have to because of the league’s structure that keeps young player under team control for so long. The Padres could just be the outlier, wanting to take a chance on someone they see as a superstar.
The other way to view this is to think Acuña got a terrible deal. However, he is still making a fortune. Him and his agent decided to get the sure money now instead of waiting five or six more years to hit free agency and then land that giant deal. Acuña is still going to get another contract once this one is up and it could be well over $100 or $200 million if he continues to get better.
Regardless, the market has been reset and the Braves have a young star locked up. If Acuña was not signed long-term and this Tatis news came out, his starting price would be nowhere near $100 million.
Did the Braves get a bargain? Yes. But does that mean Acuña is making a small amount of money? Absolutely not.