Julio Rodriguez contract makes Braves, Alex Anthopoulos look even better

Atlanta Braves, Seattle Mariners

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The Seattle Mariners have decided to break the bank on outfielder Julio Rodriguez, only making Atlanta Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos look even more like a genius in the process.

The underrated winner in Julio Rodriguez getting paid handsomely on Friday is Alex Anthopoulos.

While the Seattle Mariners paid a Rodriguez like he is freaking A-Rod or something, the Atlanta Braves keep on winning with the power of AA at The Battery. Seattle has an emerging superstar in their rookie centerfielder, so it serves the franchise to pay him $210 million over the next 14 years. Let’s hope this does not blow up in Seattle’s face like paying out the wazoo for ole Robinson Cano.

USA TODAY Sports’ Bob Nightengale reports Rodriguez’s new deal could be worth upwards of $450 million with the accouterment of club and player options, as well as other sweet incentives.

Rodriguez might be breaded like fish sticks, but this is why Anthopoulos is the real man of genius.

Atlanta Braves: Julio Rodriguez contract proves Alex Anthopoulos is a genius

While Rodriguez is slated to make well-beyond generational money, look at how team-friendly the deals Anthopoulos got with two of his young stars in outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. and second baseman Ozzie Albies. Acuna signed an eight-year deal worth $100 million in 2019. He is only 24 years old. The Braves have two club-option years for 2027 and 2028 at merely $17 million a piece.

Even more jarring, look at the grossly undervalued deal Albies has. He may be working his way back from a broken foot, but he signed a seven-year deal worth $35 million in 2019. Albies is 25 years old. The Braves have two club-option years for 2026 and 2027 at only $7 million apiece. For 15 years of service, Atlanta gets Acuña and Albies for $135 million combined, maybe four more…

If the last two club options are exercised by the Braves for Acuña and Albies, we are looking at a combined $48 million for four years of service split between the two. I mean, that is borderline criminal. Even if they do get new deals or have these restructured, guess what? The Braves have their centerfielder Michael Harris II under contract through 2032 with an AAV of only $9 million.

While the Braves are paying big money to Austin Riley (10 years, $212 million) and Matt Olson (eight years, $168 million), they can absolutely afford to do so and continue to be big spenders beyond this. It all comes down to two very important things: The Braves keep on winning and The Battery being an absolute cash cow. This is what reinvesting your dividends looks like in the end…

Ultimately, the Braves can afford to take big swings financially now because The Battery has been a mega-hit far beyond our wildest expectations. It is a year-round entertainment destination in the Cumberland area of Cobb County. Rather than fix Turner Field for Fulton County, Atlanta wisely decided to move north and collect the financial benefits from building their own Braves Mecca.

The move was controversial then, and it took a minute before the product on the field reflected the atmosphere at The Battery. Not to say it is always going to be good times for the Braves, but the financial capital will be in their favor akin to what it was like when Ted Turner owned the team during the Superstation days. Atlanta can not only afford to spend big, but it can eat bad contracts.

For as long as Anthopoulos continues to operate with baseball savvy, the Braves will always win.

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