Braves sign rookie P Strider to $75 million, 6-year contract

Oct 9, 2022, 7:24 PM | Updated: Oct 10, 2022, 12:02 pm
Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Spencer Strider throws in the outfield during a workout ahead of Ga...

Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Spencer Strider throws in the outfield during a workout ahead of Game 1 of baseball's National League Division Series, Monday, Oct. 10, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

(AP Photo/John Bazemore)

ATLANTA (AP) — Even as they prepare for another postseason, the Atlanta Braves are stocking up for the future.

The reigning World Series champions signed rookie right-hander Spencer Strider to a $75 million, six-year contract on Monday, the latest in a series of long-term deals for their young core.

The signing of Strider, who turns 24 this month, came after just 33 big league appearances. But he’s quickly become one of the team’s most popular players with his 100 mph fastball and bushy mustache.

Strider said he was eager to get a deal done because of “the commitment to winning not just right now but in the future with the guys that are in this clubhouse.”

“That means a lot to me,” he added. “It’s very cool and humbling to have the opportunity to stay here.”

The move came one day before the Braves open their NL Division Series against the Philadelphia Phillies and less than two months after Atlanta signed another rookie, outfielder Michael Harris II, to a $72 million, eight-year deal.

Harris’ deal includes a pair of team options that could raise its value to $102 million over 10 years.

Also in August, the Braves signed Austin Riley to a $212 million, 10-year contract that starts in 2023, handing out the most lucrative deal in franchise history even though the slugging third baseman would not have been eligible for free agency for three more seasons.

The signings of Riley, Harris and Strider were an extension of the Braves’ philosophy to lock up their young stars with long-term deals even when they’re under club control for several more seasons.

Outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. is tied to the Braves until 2027, while second baseman Ozzie Albies is under a cut-rate contract that binds him to Atlanta for three more seasons.

In fact, nearly every key player on the team is under contract or team control at least through 2023. The only exception is shortstop Dansby Swanson, who figures to be one of the biggest prizes in free agency, though the Braves have made it clear they hope he’ll stay in Atlanta.

General manager Alex Anthopoulos began negotiations on a new deal for Strider in early September.

“Sometimes these things just take a little time and they go back and forth,” Anthopoulos said. “But we’re grateful that it got done.”

Strider’s contract includes a $22 million club option for 2029 with a $5 million buyout. If the option is exercised, the deal will be worth $92 million.

Strider opened the season as a reliever but then solidified Atlanta’s rotation, helping the Braves win their fifth consecutive NL East title.

He will earn $1 million per season in 2023 and 2024, $4 million in 2025, $20 million in 2026, and $22 million per season in 2027-2028.

Strider became the first pitcher in baseball history to record at least 200 strikeouts while allowing fewer than 100 hits.

“He’s not scared of anybody,” catcher Travis d’Arnaud said. “He believes in himself, which I think is the most important thing.”

Strider was 11-5 with a 2.67 ERA in 31 games, including 20 starts. He had 202 strikeouts in 131 2/3 innings while giving up 86 hits.

An oblique injury has kept Strider sidelined since Sept. 18. The Braves have said they are optimistic he can return for the playoffs, either as a starter or perhaps working out of the bullpen while he builds up arm strength.

“He’s succeeded in both roles,” d’Arnaud said. “Just to have him out there is big for us and would be tremendous.”

Strider said he’s encouraged about his prospects after throwing off a mound Sunday.

“I feel great,” he said. “We’re still waiting to get out there and do our work for today and see how that goes. But those decisions and everything will be up to the team, of course, and how we want to plan for the series and stuff. I feel good, and hopefully it keeps trending in that direction.”

Like so many of the young Braves stars, Strider knows where he’ll be for many seasons to come.

“That’s the motivation in trying to get something like this done is to be here and stay with the people that I come to work with every day,” Strider said. “I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.”

___

Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at https://twitter.com/pnewberry1963

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

UNLV claims cannon, holds off Nevada late for 27-22 win

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Johnathan Baldwin broke up a Nate Cox fourth-down pass on the final play of the game to preserve UNLV’s 27-22 win over rival Nevada on Saturday to claim the Fremont Cannon in the annual rivalry game. It was the first collegiate game played at Allegiant Stadium — home of the NFL’s […]
19 hours ago
Right wing Mitchell Marner scores on Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Casey DeSmith during the first peri...
Associated Press

Marner extends point streak, Maple Leafs beat Penguins 4-1

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Mitch Marner extended his point streak to 16 games with a goal and an assist, and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1 on Saturday night. Auston Matthews became the seventh player in team history with 200 career even-strength goals, William Nylander scored his 12th of the season and Pontus […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Stephens has 27 as Chattanooga defeats Murray State 69-66

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — Jake Stephens’ 27 points helped Chattanooga defeat Murray State 69-66 on Saturday night. Stephens also had 11 rebounds and three steals for the Mocs (3-3). Jamal Johnson added 13 points while shooting 3 for 12 (3 for 10 from 3-point range) and 4 of 4 from the free throw line, and […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Nicholls State beats San Diego 72-70

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Manny Littles’ layup with eight seconds left lifted Nicholls State to a 72-70 win over San Diego at the Las Vegas Classic tournament on Saturday night. Latrell Jones scored 26 points and added six rebounds for the Colonels (2-4). Caleb Huffman went 6 of 9 from the field to add 12 […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Anderson scores 25, UIC defeats Green Bay 78-64

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Trevante Anderson’s 25 points helped UIC defeat Green Bay 78-64 on Saturday night. Anderson added five assists for the Flames (5-2). Jace Carter added 18 points and six rebounds. Toby Okani contributed 14 points. Brock Heffner led the way for the Phoenix with 19 points. Clarence Cummings III added 10 […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Jones’ 16 help Quinnipiac defeat Montana State 70-53

LAVAL, Quebec (AP) — Dezi Jones’ 16 points helped Quinnipiac defeat Montana State 70-53 on Saturday night. Jones also added seven rebounds for the Bobcats (7-0). Matt Balanc scored 15 points while going 6 of 15 (3 for 7 from distance) and added five rebounds. Luis Kortright shot 5 for 16 (1 for 4 from […]
19 hours ago
Braves sign rookie P Strider to $75 million, 6-year contract