Braves sign rookie OF Harris to $72 million, 8-year contract

Aug 16, 2022, 9:17 AM | Updated: 9:21 pm
Atlanta Braves center fielder Michael Harris II (23) makes a running catch on a fly ball from New Y...

Atlanta Braves center fielder Michael Harris II (23) makes a running catch on a fly ball from New York Mets Jon Berti in the eighth inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets Monday, Aug. 15, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

(AP Photo/John Bazemore)

ATLANTA (AP) — Rookie outfielder Michael Harris II, whose early-season promotion has bolstered the Atlanta Braves’ hopes for another championship run, has signed a $72 million, eight-year contract to remain with his hometown team.

The Braves announced the deal on Tuesday night.

The deal runs through the 2030 season and includes a $15 million team option for 2031 and a $20 million team option for 2032. Each option year is accompanied by a $5 million buyout. If both option years are activated, the total value of the contract would be $102 million over 10 years.

Harris, 21, has emerged as one of the National League’s top rookies as an offensive and defensive standout for the defending World Series champion Braves.

Harris is hitting .287 with 12 home runs, 13 stolen bases and 39 RBIs in 71 games after making his major league debut on May 28. He also has provided strong defense in center field.

Harris is the youngest player in the majors and leads all qualified rookies with an .825 OPS.

Harris joins third baseman Austin Riley, outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr., first baseman Matt Olson and second baseman Ozzie Albies as Atlanta players whose long-term contracts include team options that carry through the 2027 season or longer.

Harris will earn $5 million in 2023 and 2024, $8 million in 2025 and 2026, $9 million in 2027, $10 million in 2028 and 2029 and $12 million in 2030.

Harris was born in DeKalb County, Georgia, and was drafted by the Braves out of Stockbridge High School, south of Atlanta.

He was named National League Rookie of the Month for June.

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Braves sign rookie OF Harris to $72 million, 8-year contract