Did the Braves screw Albies' chance of passing Altuve's contract earnings record?

Ozzie Albies' contract has been talked about since the day he signed it. With Astros' second baseman Jose Altuve signing his second big contract extension, Albies' contract feels more and more unfair by the day.

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Ozzie Albies
Division Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves - Game One / Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/GettyImages

Does Albies continue to produce as he ages?

Altuve looks to be serious when he says he wants to retire a Houston Astro. But no two baseball players age the same. Altuve set himself up for his most recent payday at age 33, because he is beloved in Houston and he continues to pump out productive seasons.

In our hypothetical Albies contract, let's say he did sign this offseason with the Braves in a free agent bidding between a few teams and found himself on a seven-year $200 million deal to stay in Atlanta. That would hypothetically make him a free agent once again in 2031 at the age of 34 years-old.

Would a 34 year-old Albies be able to get a nine-figure deal that offseason? If, he followed the Jose Altuve production blueprint during those seven years, we certainly think he could. With that, Albies would've added another similarity between himself and Altuve in being two of the highest earners at their respective position.

However, much like life, baseball does not run on hypotheticals. Did Albies miss out on some money down the road by accepting life-changing money early into his career? Could he be rewarded for his production before the end of his current contract is up? Is Jose Altuve a franchise icon in Houston, and one of the best hitters in this current generation? Those questions can all be answered with a resounding yes.

I finish with the reminder that early contract risk for the club, and life-changing money for the player doesn't mean one side has purposely "screwed" the other. As is the case on the actual baseball diamond, timing and situation plays a huge role in each contract signed.

Braves fans love Ozzie Albies, and he has 35 million reasons to smile everyday he steps into Truist Park. Considering the impact Ozzie has made on the field and in the Atlanta community, we are hopeful Alex Anthopoulos rewards his hard work with a nice payday and brings him one step closer to becoming a Brave for life.

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