Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos is somewhat of a cult hero among Atlanta fans. The 45-year-old team executive helped build the Braves’ 2021 World Series winning roster.
He’s also the mastermind between two of the most team-friendly deals in baseball history. The first is that of 24-year-old superstar center fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. Acuna Jr. is already a three-time MLB All-Star and is set to be the franchise’s centerpiece for the next decade. And yet he agreed to a relatively minuscule eight-year, $100 million contrat with the team. Less than two years later, Fernando Tatis Jr. signed a 14-year, $340 million deal with the San Diego Padres.
Anthopoulos pulled a similar rabbit out of his hat with 25-year-old second baseman Ozzie Albies. Albies is already a two-time All-Star in his own right, and yet he signed a paltry seven-year, $35 million deal in 2019. If both were to hit arbitration they would’ve likely seen figures that absolutely dwarfed their respective pay numbers.
Instead, the Braves locked down two franchise pillars for the price of a ham sandwich.
Now it seems as if Atlanta has pulled the rabbit out of its hat again.
Braves Lock Down NL ROY Candidate To Long-Term Deal
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) August 17, 2022
Rookie center fielder Michael Harris II is having a fantastic year. He’s batting .287 with 12 home runs and 37 RBIs while providing plus defense in the outfield. He’s currently among the favorites to win the National League Rookie of the Year Award.
Harris, like Albies and Acuna Jr. before him, decided to sign early and locked himself into an eight-year, $72 million extension. Braves fans couldn’t believe their luck.
— 🐶💔 (@ATL_SSG_Fan) August 17, 2022
AA out here making a dynasty for us while other teams are going all out for one player and losing every year. I'm here for investing in our stock and keeping the boys together!! Let's go Money Mike!!! 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾 https://t.co/WGUHhUocxp
— JeRsEyFeMmE (@JeRsEyFeMmE22) August 17, 2022
MLBPA is gonna set Alex Anthopoulos’ house on fire https://t.co/OatTgfkbuN
— Stephen (@b_outliers) August 17, 2022
Anthopoulous has become a legend in Atlanta for his ability to lock down talent well below market value.
Chris Taylor and his diving catches are truly something else.https://t.co/6mwKnmKqbs
— Highly Clutch (@HighlyClutch) August 17, 2022
The World Series champs appear to be a force to be reckoned with for a long time coming.