The Atlanta Braves and 21-year-old outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. have agreed to an eight-year, $100 million contract extension, the team announced Tuesday.
The deal begins this season and is the largest in history for a player with as little major league service time as Acuna has (165 days), according to the Braves. He also is believed to be the youngest player to receive a $100 million contract.
It also is the second-largest contract in franchise history, trailing the eight-year, $135 million deal for Freddie Freeman in 2014.
Acuna’s contract runs through 2026 and includes club options for 2027 and 2028, with ESPN and other outlets reporting that the options were worth $17 million each.
—The Toronto Blue Jays have agreed to a five-year, $52 million contract extension with outfielder Randal Grichuk, according to a report from Sportsnet.
The deal buys out three seasons of potential free agency and keeps Grichuk under contract through the 2023 season. Grichuk will receive a $5 million signing bonus as well as a salary increase from $5 million to $7 million in 2019. He is due to receive $12 million in 2020 and $9.3 million per year from 2021 through 2023.
The 27-year-old Grichuk is in his second season with the Blue Jays, who acquired him from the St. Louis Cardinals in January 2018 for right-handed reliever Dominic Leone and a minor-league prospect. Grichuk hit .245 with 25 home runs and 61 RBIs in 124 games in his first season with Toronto.
—The Blue Jays traded center fielder Kevin Pillar to the San Francisco Giants in return for right-handed pitchers Juan De Paula and Derek Law and infielder Alen Hanson.
Pillar is a career .260 hitter in 695 games, but his defense is first-rate, as a three-time Gold Glove finalist (2015, ‘16, ‘17) in center.
He signed a one-year, $5.8 million deal with the Blue Jays in January.
—The Colorado Rockies agreed with right-handed starter German Marquez on a five-year, $43 million contract extension, according to multiple reports.
Marquez, 24, was not yet arbitration-eligible but is now under contract through 2023. ESPN reports the deal includes a club option that could become a mutual option for 2024 if Marquez has two top-three finishes in Cy Young Award voting, with other escalators for top-five finishes.
The deal marks the second-largest guarantee for any pitcher with two or fewer years of service in the majors. Tampa Bay’s Blake Snell, who won the 2018 AL Cy Young Award, received a five-year, $50 million extension last month.
—Rockies infielder Daniel Murphy will be sidelined at least a month with a broken index finger, manager Bud Black told MLB Network Radio.
Murphy, who signed a two-year, $24 million contract with the Rockies in December, was injured in his second game with his new team. He was placed on the 10-day injured list Monday, his 34th birthday.
Black said the team is waiting on official word from a hand specialist, but an X-ray on Saturday revealed an avulsion fracture in Murphy’s left index finger.
—Former New York Mets pitcher Ron Darling stood by the allegation he made in his new book that Lenny Dykstra shouted racial slurs at a Boston Red Sox pitcher in the 1986 World Series.
Darling went on the ESPN radio show “Golic and Wingo” to reassert his claim that Dykstra, his former teammate, hurled racial insults at Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd prior to his first at-bat of Game 3 of the World Series.
“I heard what I heard and I put it in the book for a reason,” Darling said, referring to his new book titled, “108 Stitches: Loose Threads, Ripping Yarns, and the Darndest Characters from My Time in the Game.”
—Field Level Media