Mike Trout was praised for signing the biggest individual contract in North American team history, for handling it “with class” and giving the Angels a “club friendly deal”. By those same standards, Ronald Acuna Jr. should be thrown a parade and have a building named after him. $100 million for 21 year old with tons of upside, and a club option to keep him around until he’s 31 years old? THIS, my fellow baseball fans, is TRULY a club friendly deal.
No disrespect intended for Mike Trout, who by all accounts IS a classy guy, and likely the best player in baseball right now. He’s also going to very likely be in decline for at least half of his contract, which is far, FAR more expensive than Acuna’s. Trout, who is more than six years older than Acuna- or, in baseball terms, roughly half a career older- is already in his prime years. Acuna hasn’t even started his. And, even if the 2018 Rookie of the Year doesn’t pan out the way it appears he will, $100 million over eight years, incredibly, isn’t that much money in Major League Baseball terms. The Braves- who also have a more competitive team than the Angels- can afford the risk, given the potential reward for this very team friendly contract.
All in all, this is a great move for both sides. In particular, Ronald Acuna Jr. deserves a tip of the cap- sure, $100 million is more than he’ll need to spend for the rest of his life. But with all the whispers of how much MORE he could have made had he just waited longer, he showed that he values economic security over ego, not concerned at how much he’s making, relative to his peers. Instead, he’ll let his numbers ON the field do the talking.