Braves sign rookie Michael Harris II to eight-year, $72 million contract extension – CBS Sports

Braves sign rookie Michael Harris II to eight-year, $72 million contract extension - CBS Sports

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The Atlanta Braves locked up another core player to a long-term extension. Outfielder Michael Harris II signed an eight-year contract extension worth $72 million, the team announced Tuesday night. The contract also includes a two-year club option.

The extension begins next season and covers what would have been two pre-arbitration years, four years of arbitration as a Super Two, and two free-agent years with club options for two more. The contract can max out at $102 million over 10 years. Here is the salary structure:

  • 2023: $5 million
  • 2024: $5 million
  • 2025: 8 million USD
  • 2026: 8 million USD
  • 2027: $9 million
  • 2028: $10 million
  • 2029: $10 million
  • 2030: $12 million
  • 2031: $15 million club option ($5 million buyout)
  • 2032: $20 million club option ($5 million buyout)

Atlanta has aggressively locked up its core position players to long-term, team-friendly contracts that guarantee the player a life-changing amount of money. Harris is the fifth Braves player signed through at least 2025, joining outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr.second baseman Ozzie Albies, first baseman Matt Olson, and third baseman Austin Riley.

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Harris’ contract is the third richest guarantee ever for a player with less than one full year of service time. Here is the list:

  1. Wander French, Radios: 11 years and $182 million
  2. Ronald Coin Jr., Braves: 8 years and $100 million
  3. Michael Harris II, Braves: 8 years and $72 million
  4. Louis Robert, White Socks: 6 years and $50 million (signed before MLB debut)
  5. Eloy Jiménez, White Sox: 6 years and $43 million (signed before MLB debut)

Harris, 21, entered the season as Atlanta’s top prospect and was called up to the big leagues straight from Double-A in late May. The Braves jumped him right above Triple-A and Harris rewarded his faith with a .287/.325/.500 batting line and 12 home runs in 71 games. He is also a perfect 13 for 13 in stolen base attempts.

Beyond the offense, Harris is also an outstanding defensive center fielder. The total package was worth 2.9 WAR in less than half a season of playing time. Harris is the favorite to be named NL Rookie of the Year at the moment, with teammate Spencer Strider his main competition.

Tuesday’s win over the New York Mets (ATL 5, NYM 0) improved the Braves to 72-46 on the season. The defending World Series champions are 3 1/2 games back in the NL East, and they could soon welcome Mike Soroka back to the rotation.

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