The Atlanta Braves have set a great blueprint: extending core players early in their careers. They just did it again with SP Spencer Strider, who is a leading NL Rookie of the Year candidate. They have him picked up until 2028. They have RF Ronald Acuna Jr. until 2027; 1B Matt Olson until 2030; 3B Austin Riley until 2033 and 2B Ozzie Albies until 2026. Why can’t we do the same with our core such as 2B Jazz Chisholm Jr.? I suggested it before and explained why it makes sense.
The Miami Marlins need to start giving out early-career extensions to lock up our core.
There’s little worse than losing core players to free agency, the Atlanta Braves however have a great solution… locking them up early to save money and keep them long-term at the same time. It’s a pretty genius solution at a time when salaries are rising and having cost-controlled players long-term is the goal for basically every smart team.
There is a dark side to this strategy of course. The reason why players agree to this strategy is safety. They can get injured or decline and this way they get paid a good amount of money long-term. The key for teams is to know which players are worth it and which ones are not. So far Atlanta has been doing a great job at doing just that.
The Atlanta Braves aren’t the only ones doing that. The Tampa Bay Rays and Cleveland Guardians are doing that too. Both teams look pretty good right now: Tampa is regularly in the playoffs and Cleveland just won their division. The Miami Marlins can potentially have the same success if we simply spend smart and not waste money in free agency *cough* Kim Ng *cough*.
The Miami Marlins can use this strategy to lock up Jazz Chisholm Jr. and most of our rotation. There’s risk of course but there’s obvious benefits as well. If the Atlanta Braves continue winning, it will only make it more clear that this is the way to build a regularly contending ball club. Will Bruce Sherman be willing yo spend this way?