Big Fish in a Small Pond

Big Fish in a Small Pond: Why Mike Trout's deal spells trouble for the Braves

With three highly touted superstars all testing the Free Agency market this Winter, everyone knew the asking prices would hit an all-new high for the baseball world and for sports overall. After the dust settled and this superstar trio was signed, over one billion dollars were poured in to supplying their new contracts. Machado was first with a 10-year $300 million deal, then Bryce Harper scored a 13 year $330 million, and Mike Trout concluded the trio with a 12 year $426.5 million. It seems a new trend is emerging for talents to explore a new market to become the “superstar” of a lesser team. Trout didn’t go that route and instead decided to stay on the West Coast market. One trend is prevalent with this though, teams are willing to spend large amounts of money on young stars in order to secure a true star and figurehead for their team. What does this spell for teams producing young talent at such a rapid rate?

This could spell trouble for an organization such as the Braves that are building strong young talent looking for longevity as an organization. With the emergence of Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuna at the skills position and emerging towards the top of their positions, the Braves may be stuck in to making a decision on who to keep and who to let walk. Add in to the mix long-time brave first baseman Freddie Freeman will also be looking for a new contract within the next 3 years along the same timeline as Ozzie and Acuna. The Braves could be facing a tough decision in the near future if the current team cannot make a big splash to the world series in the near future. The market will only begin to expand following this new level of expected contracts. Teams will soon be splurging to secure their franchise player offering lengthy deals and large payouts to make them a figurehead for their hopeful franchise. With this expectation, the Braves will be forced to stick with their current veteran Freddie Freeman or up and coming star in the form of Ronald Acuna or Ozzie Albies. This isn’t even considering the path of current prospects who may develop in to strong young talent as well. The Braves may find themselves in a vicious cycle that is re-signing and letting organizationally grown talent walk on to other teams. There can be success found in this as the Astros' have played mostly by the same rebuilding with prospects look.