The Atlanta Braves are one of the most successful MLB teams in recent memory.
The 2021 World Series champs have won the NL East division five years in a row, and have been very competitive ever since the early 1990s.
In recent seasons, the franchise has adopted a successful approach to lock up young talent.
They offer rookies or players within their first three years of control (pre-arbitration players) a nice contract for their current financial outlook, but deals that end up being team-friendly if we consider that they usually cover multiple free agent seasons.
Basically, the franchise takes a small risk that the player gets injured or loses effectiveness, but end up saving lots of cash as these players develop into stars.
During the holidays, the Braves acquired yet another young star and secured him to a long-term, potentially team-friendly contract.
They traded for catcher Sean Murphy and signed him to a six-year contract extension.
It’s their most recent payroll-related coup.
“The Braves’ club control after today’s six-year Sean Murphy extension: Austin Riley, through 2033; Michael Harris II, 2032; Matt Olson, 2030; Sean Murphy, 2029; Spencer Strider, 2029; Ronald Acuña Jr., 2028; Vaughn Grissom, 2028; Ozzie Albies, 2027; Kyle Wright, 2026; Max Fried, 2024,” MLB insider Jeff Passan tweeted.
The Braves’ club control after today’s six-year Sean Murphy extension:
Austin Riley, through 2033
Michael Harris II, 2032
Matt Olson, 2030
Sean Murphy, 2029
Spencer Strider, 2029
Ronald Acuña Jr., 2028
Vaughn Grissom, 2028
Ozzie Albies, 2027
Kyle Wright, 2026
Max Fried, 2024
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 28, 2022
By adopting this model with other young stars, the Braves made sure they have a top-level team for the foreseeable future.
One of their aces, Max Fried, is under contract for two more seasons, giving the Braves a top rotation for at least that long.
Every other young star they have is under relatively cheap control for much, much longer.
The New York Mets have understandably taken some of the headlines this offseason, but the Braves remain every bit as good, if not better.