Braves sign rookie OF Harris to 8-year, $72 million contract

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

ATLANTA – Rookie outfielder Michael Harris II, whose early-season promotion has bolstered the Atlanta Braves’ hopes for another championship run, has signed an eight-year, $72 million contract to remain with his hometown team.

The Braves announced the deal on Tuesday night.

The deal runs through the 2030 season and includes a $15 million team option for 2031 and a $20 million team option for 2032. Each option year is accompanied by a $5 million buyout. If both option years are activated, the total value of the contract would be $102 million over 10 years.

Harris, 21, has emerged as one of the National League’s top rookies as an offensive and defensive standout for the defending World Series champion Braves.

Harris is hitting .287 with 12 home runs, 13 stolen bases and 39 RBIs in 71 games after making his major league debut on May 28. He also has provided strong defense in center field.

Harris is the youngest player in the majors and leads all qualified rookies with an .825 OPS.

Harris joins third baseman Austin Riley, outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr., first baseman Matt Olson and second baseman Ozzie Albies as Atlanta players whose long-term contracts include team options that carry through the 2027 season or longer.

Harris will earn $5 million in 2023 and 2024, $8 million in 2025 and 2026, $9 million in 2027, $10 million in 2028 and 2029 and $12 million in 2030.

Harris was born in DeKalb County, Georgia, and was drafted by the Braves out of Stockbridge High School, south of Atlanta.

He was named National League Rookie of the Month for June.

Blue Jays hire Don Mattingly as bench coach

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

TORONTO — Don Mattingly is joining the Toronto Blue Jays as bench coach to manager John Schneider, the team announced.

The former New York Yankees slugger, a six-time All-Star, joins the Blue Jays after seven seasons as manager of the Florida Marlins, where he won NL Manager of the Year honors in 2020.

Mattingly previously spent five seasons as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, winning three division titles in that span. He also worked as hitting coach and bench coach for the Yankees, and as hitting coach of the Dodgers before his managerial stint in Los Angeles.

In Toronto, Mattingly replaces Casey Candaele, who was promoted from Triple-A Buffalo to serve as Schneider’s bench coach after the Jays fired manager Charlie Montoyo in July, replacing him with Schneider. The Blue Jays said Candaele will resume his job as manager of the Triple-A Bisons in 2023.

Mattingly spent his entire 14-year playing career with the Yankees, winning nine Gold Glove awards at first base, three Silver Slugger awards, the 1984 AL batting title and the 1985 AL MVP award.