All-Star Riley agrees to $212M, 10-year deal with Braves

Atlanta Braves' Austin Riley reacts after hitting the game winning RBI single to score Atlanta...
Atlanta Braves' Austin Riley reacts after hitting the game winning RBI single to score Atlanta Braves' Ozzie Albies in the ninth inning in Game 1 of baseball's National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Atlanta. The Braves defeated the Dodgers 3-2 to take game 1. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)(Ashley Landis | AP)
Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 6:47 PM CDT
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ATLANTA (AP) — All-Star third baseman Austin Riley and the Atlanta Braves agreed Monday to a $212 million, 10-year contract that starts in 2023, the most lucrative deal in team history and a surprise given he had three additional seasons under club control.

The deal with the 25-year-old is Major League Baseball’s 25th for $200 million or more. It includes a $20 million club option for 2033 with no buyout, which could make the agreement worth $232 million over 11 seasons.

Riley hit .423 with 11 homers, 25 RBIs and 21 runs in July. His 26 extra-base hits in July were the most by a Braves player in any month, passing Hall of Famer Hank Aaron’s previous record set in July 1961.

The big month left Riley leading the majors with 61 extra-base hits.

Riley capped the memorable month by delivering the winning double in the ninth inning of Sunday’s 1-0 win over Arizona, driving in Matt Olson to cap a three-game sweep.

Riley is earning $3.95 million this year after losing in arbitration. He would have been eligible for arbitration ahead of the 2023, ‘24 and ‘25 seasons, then could have become a free agent.

He will make $15 million in 2023, $21 million in 2024, and $22 million in each remaining year of the deal. Riley will donate 1% of his salary annually to the Atlanta Braves Foundation.

Riley is hitting .301, began Monday fourth in the majors with 29 home runs, and has 68 RBIs and a .964 OPS in 101 games.

The deal provides long-term security for Riley while giving the Braves the ability to count on the slugger remaining a fixture in the middle of their lineup for at least a decade.

The defending World Series champion Braves were unable to re-sign first baseman Freddie Freeman after the 2021 season and could lose shortstop Dansby Swanson to free agency after this season. After failing to re-sign Freeman, the Braves acquired Olson from Oakland and signed him to a $168 million deal for eight years.

Outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. is in the second year of a $100 million, eight-year deal.

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