Highest Paid Atlanta Braves Players in 2024: T-5, Marcell Ozuna - $16 million
Marcell Ozuna's time with the Atlanta Braves began as one of those one-year prove-it deals in 2020. He finished sixth in MVP voting and earned a Silver Slugger. The following season, he signed a four-year deal worth $65 million with Atlanta.
2024 is the final guaranteed year of his contract, although he does have a club option in 2025. Ozuna is entering his age 33 season in 2024 and is coming down off of a tremendous 2023. Many people like to say he's been inconsistent, but he had a lot of injuries/external factors that would have affected any of us at our jobs. When he's had his head clear and been healthy, he's been an incredible baseball player.
As Ozuna proved last season, when he's on his game he provides a real value even though he's tied for the fifth-highest salary on the team. The veteran is worth the money when he clobbers 40 homers and drives in 100 runs!
Highest Paid Atlanta Braves Players in 2024: #4 Ronald Acuna Jr. - $17 million
Ronal Acuna Jr. reached the maximum annual payout of his contract last season. In 2023, he began earning $17 million per year and he will earn as much for the next three seasons, at least. See the two-year club option built into the contract at $17 million. It was a truly brilliant contract for the team.
It would have been hard for Acuna to turn down all of that guaranteed money after playing just half of a season. He had a LONG way to go to get to the open market. When someone dangles this kind of money in front of you, it's hard to pass it up! It eliminates the risk of injury or failure. The result: The Braves have one of the best players in the game's history for a little more than what they pay their closer.
Looking around the league at the best players reveals that Acuna earns about half of what he would on the open market. Aaron Judge, Mike Trout, Jacob deGrom, and other top players are earning around $40 million per year.
So the good news goes both ways. The Brave have Acuna locked down through 2028. In 2029, he will enter free agency at the relatively young age of 31. At that point, someone else will pay him too much money based on all the things he did with the Braves and not so much what he will do for that club throughout the new contract.