If you don't follow baseball news outside of the Atlanta Braves, you may have missed the Houston Astros agreeing to a contract extension with Jose Altuve yesterday evening. Houston gave their beloved second baseman his second big contract extension with the team, this time a five-year $125 million deal.
This latest extension put Altuve in the history books, as by the end of this contract he will become MLB's first $300 million dollar second baseman. This got us thinking if Albies' could've been approaching this number as well, had he not signed his seven-year $35 million contract on April 11, 2019.
Even at the time of signing, Albies' contract looked like it could be a steal, and as the years have passed that has definitely proven to be the case. The Braves have been on the forefront of "team friendly" contract extensions since Alex Anthopoulos took over as GM. However, the value they are getting from Albies' deal is mind-boggling.
Before I dive into this I have to say, the contract was a two-way street. Clearly, Albies felt $35 million was life changing money (rightfully so) and the Braves had only seen 215 games of play at the Major League level from the former highly ranked prospect. Need I remind you of the six-year $24 million contract the Phillies gave Scott Kingery before playing a game in the majors.
For those who don't know, Kingery had his 2024 club option declined after slashing .244/.25/.399 in Triple-A last season. In his 325 games played at the big league level, he produced a wRC+ of 73, and 0.8 fWAR. Just an example of how those early contract extensions can come back to bite.
Circling back to Albies, we find that his career 110 wRC+ and 19.3 fWAR has already more than paid for the value in the contract. In fact, according to Fangraphs, Albies has been worth $154.2 million since debuting in 2017.
Had Albies not signed that deal back in 2019, he would be cashing in for much more as a free agent this offseason. But, would that hypothetical contract and a second contract been enough to put him alongside Altuve in history? To answer that will take some research, so let's find out!