All-Star Riley agrees to $212M, 10-year deal with Braves
Published 11:55 pm Monday, August 1, 2022
ATLANTA — 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.