The highway robbery the Atlanta Braves are getting away with in regards to Ronald Acuña's salary over the next eight years doesn't get talked about nearly enough, but when the San Diego Padres announced they'd be shelling out $340 million to Fernando Tatis Jr. over the next 14 years, people definitely took notice of what Atlanta was able to lock up its superstar for. And while it was certainly always a team-friendly deal, I think it can now safely be classified as stealing.
Those options in the final two years are certainly going to be picked up — especially with a $10 million buyout each year — so the Braves will get 10 years of Acuña for a grand total of $124 million, or a little more than a third of what Tatis just got. And I almost feel a little bad for Ronnie comparatively, but what he got was far more indicative of what he had done on the field up to the point he signed that deal than what Tatis received after just 143 career games.
But with Juan Soto now set to make at least as much as Tatis, I don't think there's a contract in sports that's even close to as good from a team perspective as what Atlanta has with Acuña. Hell, second place might also be the Braves with Ozzie Albies' 7-year, $35 million deal — which he probably should not have signed. Acuña still got more than $100 million, but Albies really got screwed there and the team really should have given him something closer to market value.
Even if Acuña and Tatis made the exact same amount of money, I'd take my guy 11 times out of 10. But when you factor in the value of what the Braves were able to get done, there's no question. Hopefully both of these guys keep producing at the level they've shown so far in their careers, because they're making baseball incredibly fun to watch.