The Atlanta Braves have signed outfielder Ender Inciarte to five-year, $30.525 million contract extension. There is a club option or a sixth year. The deal gives Inciarte a $3.5 million signing bonus, and then salaries of $2 million in 2017, $4 million in 2018, $5 million in 2019, $7 million in 2020, $8 million in 2021, and then a $9 million club option for 2022 with a $1.025 million buyout of it’s not exercised.
Inciarte made $523,000 in 2016, his third in the majors. This deal buys out all of his arbitration years and two of his potential free agency years. He just turned 26.
That’s a pretty fantastic deal for the Braves, who enjoyed Inciarte’s fantastic center field defense while seeing him post a .291/.351/.381 line at the plate in 2016. He is one of the top baserunners in the game as well.
Inciarte came over to the Braves along with top prospect Dansby Swanson in the trade which sent Shelby Miller to the Diamondbacks before last season. It was already a heist for the Braves given Swanson’s promise, but Inciarte, whose 2016 season was worth 3.6 WAR, would’ve made it a great deal for Atlanta if only he came over.
And not he’s locked up to a team-friendly deal for a long, long time.
Today the Angels introduced their newest big star, Anthony Rendon, who just signed a seven-year, $245 million contract to play in Orange County.
And it is Orange County, not Los Angeles, Rendon stressed at the press conference. When asked about the Dodgers, who had also been reported to be courting him, Rendon said he preferred the Angels because, “the Hollywood lifestyle . . . didn’t seem like it would be a fit for us as a family.”
What “the Hollywood Lifestyle” means in that context could mean a lot of things I suppose. It could be about the greater media scrutiny Dodgers players are under compared to Angels players. It could mean that he’d simply prefer to live in Newport Beach than, I dunno, wherever Dodgers players live. Pasadena? Pasadena is more convenient to Dodger Stadium than the beach. Who knows. They never did let Yasiel Puig get that helicopter he wanted, so traffic could’ve been a consideration.
But maybe it’s a subtle allusion to political/cultural stuff. Orange County has trended to the left in some recent elections but it is, historically speaking, a conservative stronghold in Southern California. And, based on something else he said in his press conference, Rendon seems to be pretty conscious of geographical/political matters:
A shoutout to the notion of Texas being Trump country and an askance glance at “the Hollywood Lifestyle” of Los Angeles all in the same press conference. That’s a lot of culture war ground covered in one press conference. So much so that I can’t decide if I should warn Rendon that both Texas and Orange County are trending leftward or if I should tell him to stick to sports.