HomeSportsAll-Star Riley agrees to $212M, 10-year deal with Braves

All-Star Riley agrees to $212M, 10-year deal with Braves

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ATLANTA (AP) — All-Star third baseman Austin Riley and the Atlanta Braves agreed Monday to a $212 million, 10-year contract that starts in 2023, the most lucrative deal in team history and a surprise given he had three additional seasons under club control.

The deal with the 25-year-old is Major League Baseball’s 25th for $200 million or more. It includes a $20 million club option for 2033 with no buyout, which could make the agreement worth $232 million over 11 seasons.

Riley hit .423 with 11 homers, 25 RBIs and 21 runs in July. His 26 extra-base hits in July were the most by a Braves player in any month, passing Hall of Famer Hank Aaron’s previous record set in July 1961.

Atlanta Braves’ Austin Riley runs to first on a game winning RBI during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Sunday, July 31, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

The big month left Riley leading the majors with 61 extra-base hits.

Riley capped the memorable month by delivering the winning double in the ninth inning of Sunday’s 1-0 win over Arizona, driving in Matt Olson to cap a three-game sweep.

Riley is earning $3.95 million this year after losing in arbitration. He would have been eligible for arbitration ahead of the 2023, ’24 and ’25 seasons, then could have become a free agent.

He will make $15 million in 2023, $21 million in 2024, and $22 million in each remaining year of the deal. Riley will donate 1% of his salary annually to the Atlanta Braves Foundation.

Riley is hitting .301, began Monday fourth in the majors with 29 home runs, and has 68 RBIs and a .964 OPS in 101 games.

Atlanta Braves’ Matt Olson, center celebrates with teammates after he scored the winning run on a hit by Austin Riley during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Sunday, July 31, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

The deal provides long-term security for Riley while giving the Braves the ability to count on the slugger remaining a fixture in the middle of their lineup for at least a decade.

The defending World Series champion Braves were unable to re-sign first baseman Freddie Freeman after the 2021 season and could lose shortstop Dansby Swanson to free agency after this season. After failing to re-sign Freeman, the Braves acquired Olson from Oakland and signed him to a $168 million deal for eight years.

Outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. is in the second year of a $100 million, eight-year deal.

3 COMMENTS

  1. This is the reason taxpayers shouldn’t be footing the bill for sports teams stadiums. These billionaires should be paying for their own stadiums! Your tax dollars get used them you have to pay to enter a place you paid for. Imagine having to pay every time you entered your car or house. Our forefathers must be rolling in their graves..

  2. I agree 100% with Allen Wylds. If you can pay that kind of money for someone to play a game, you can damn well pay for your own stadium. Too, shame on us for buying increasingly expensive tickets that support paying these ridiculous salaries. I don’t blame the players for getting every dime they can, that is free enterprise. I blame us for enabling it.

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