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Is Spencer Strider worth the massive extension that the Atlanta Braves have given him?

Despite the injury concerns this past season, there is no doubt that the right-hander is as talented as they come and now he’s staying.

Is Spencer Strider worth the massive extension that the Atlanta Braves have given him?
Kevin C. CoxAFP

They might be in the middle of their postseason run, but that hasn’t stopped the Braves from making moves to secure their future and what a move it was.

Atlanta Braves sign rookie Spencer Strider to $74 million contract

According to a team announcement on Monday, the Atlanta Braves have reached an agreement with rookie right-hander Spencer Strider on a six-year contract worth $75 million. It is understood, that the Braves will also maintain a club option for an additional season, which could see the deal go to seven years and with that a final value of around $92 million - assuming they take up the option. To be clear, reports indicate that Strider’s guaranteed payout is the highest ever awarded to a pitcher with less than two years in the MLB.

Who is Spencer Strider and what’s his contract look like?

Currently 23-years-old, Strider was a fourth-round pick in the 2020 MLB draft. This past season, was most definitely a break-out one for the young gun, as he undoubtedly established himself as one of the best young starters in the league. Across his 31 appearances - 20 of those were starts - Strider maintained a 2.67 ERA (153 ERA+) and a 4.49 strikeout-to-walk ratio. According to Baseball Reference’s stats, that accounted for an estimated 3.7 Wins Above Replacement. Where Strider’s contract itself is concerned, take a look below for a detailed breakdown:

2023-2024$1 million
2025$5 million
2026$20 million
2027-2028$22 million
2029$22 million ($6million buyout)

The Braves have done this before

Interestingly, Strider isn’t the first in recent years to sign a long-term extension. Indeed, under Alex Anthopoulos, there have been a few other notable players who have done the same. Ronald Acuña Jr., Ozzie Albies, Austin Riley, and Michael Harris II have all seen extensions granted. Let’s not forget veteran first baseman Matt Olson earlier this year as well.

As for the here and now, the Braves are set to face the Philadelphia Phillies in a best-of-five Division Series starting on Tuesday. For the moment, there are doubts as to whether Strider will be part of the team or not, having been struggling with an oblique injury. To be fair, it was that same problem that brought a premature end to his regular season. Will he be on the mound when the Braves get going? There’s been no official word on whether that will be the case, but Braves manager Brian Snitker did indicate that the team is considering what role - if any - Strider will play.


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