Spencer Strider Atlanta Braves

Age: 24 (October 28, 1998) | 6' 0" | 195lbs. | Throws: Right
Tm Lg YEAR W L SV Hld G GS IP H HR BB SO ERA WHIP Rating BB/9 SO/9 BABIP G/L/F % $4x4 $5x5
ATL A+ 2021 0 0 0 0 3 3 14.2 9 1 6 24 2.45 1.02 0.92 3.7 14.7 .315 n/a
ATL AA 2021 3 7 0 0 22 21 94.0 64 7 40 153 3.64 1.11 1.01 3.8 14.6 .337 n/a
ATL AAA 2021 0 0 0 0 1 0 1.0 1 0 0 3 0.00 1.00 1.00 0.0 0.0 1.22 n/a
ATL NL 2022 11 5 0 2 31 20 131.1 86 7 45 202 2.67 1.00 0.91 3.1 13.8 .319 40/23/37 24 24
Career 1yr 11 5 0 2 31 20 131.1 86 7 45 202 2.67 1.00 0.91 3.1 13.8 .319 n/a
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A grand total of eleven pitchers fanned at least 200 batters this season, "the lowest level," Ron Shandler tells us in the new Baseball Forecaster, "since 2009. Nearly all 11 of those pitchers are going to cost you a ton."

I've looked at all 11, don't see anyone who won't. Even in 4x4.

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 24

Well Tabata's contract came at the end of his 2nd season and was only worth $14.75 million from the frugal Pirates.  And Singleton's contract, which I surely didn't forget since I'm an Astros fan, was only for $10 million. In both cases I recall talk of the MLB Teams swindling their young potential stars.  In truth, both sides gambled.  That talk was revived with Albies and Acuna.  Tabata and Singleton won their gambles, and the Braves won theirs with Acuna and Albies.

For both those guys I'm glad they got a measure of financial security, since their earnings on those contracts were essentially their career earnings - and failures for the MLB Teams.  And of course, no one copies failures.

If the Strider deal turns out to be a bad investment, I suspect the other teams will recognize that and avoid the same error.

Bob Elam Bob-in-TX
Oct 12

Maybe everyone just forgot about Jose Tabata and Jon Singleton.

Mike Landau ML-
Oct 12

The Giants weren't locking guys up in their first seasons in the bigs.  Posey played 4 years in MLB, from 2009-2012, and had won ROTY and an NL MVP before the Giants extended him in 2013. Not at all like gambling on rookies or players without a Major League AB.

Belt played 6 seasons in SFO and went through arbitration multiple times before he was extended in 2016.  His extension was actually modeled on Crawford's deal.  And Crawford had 5 seasons under his belt before signing his extension in late 2015.

If the Giants were first movers at all, it was more along the lines of Toyota making the Prius hybrid than Elon selling the Tesla Roadster.  The Giants simply rewarded long-time performers with nice extensions just before they had to.

The Braves, OTOH, have jumped head first into the shallow end of the pool in the hopes that torrential rains would make it into the deep end before they broke their neck on the bottom.  And so far it has worked.  But they may have taken it one step too far with Strider.  He's a rookie like the others.  But a pitcher.  And sooner rather than later, these now 7 contracts will start inching the Braves closer to the salary cap, er, the competitive balance tax.

The Pads saw Atlanta's success and attempted to copy it to a degree, locking up Tatis very early.  And maybe that will prove to be a mistake.  The Rays and Mariners then copied Atlanta and signed Franco and Rodriguez.  I'm sure there are others I'm forgetting.  But the copycats didn't get their guys as cheap as Atlanta.  And Geez, the Pads have pretty much tried every team strategy one can imagine, from signing questionable FA's like Myers, to giving hundreds of millions to Machado, to paying a premium in prospect capital and salary for Soto's final few arbitration years.

Like I said, I have liked the chutzpah of Atlanta up until this Strider deal.  Maybe it will demonstrate the limits of the strategy.  But Atlanta is without a doubt locked in as the new Moneyball team.

Bob Elam Bob-in-TX
Oct 12

OTOH ... here's a reply from a friend ... long before the braves doing this, the giants
were “first movers” and signed crawford, posey and belt to long term contracts
while they were still arb eligible.

Howard Lynch LynchMob
Oct 11

Yes, a great post by Bob.

Even if Strider wasn't a pitcher, he has to take this deal. But he is a pitcher. I doubt even Scott Boras would have said turn this down.

Boras probably is his agent.

Alex Patton Alex
Oct 11

My nominee for Post-of-the-Year (non-Alex division) :-)

Howard Lynch LynchMob
Oct 11

This signing is fascinating to me on several levels.  In a sense, the Braves are the new Astros (maybe you could argue Cubs) in that they are trend-setters in terms of elucidating a potential path to an MLB Dynasty.

Back in the day, the Dynasty path was clear: be the Yankees.  Just outearn and outspend everyone.  That worked in MLB and, to a lesser degree, in the NFL.  See the 90s Redskins. Just keep overpaying your guys and winning. 

But then came the hard and soft salary cap eras and the Colts' succesful-then-failed "suck for Luck" strategy. Just Tank Baby.

Enter the Astros.  Who doubled down on sucking for Correa and Bregman and Tucker etc.  Hey, it worked on a lesser level for the Cubs, right?  Copycats followed.  And the Astros mastered it.

But the Braves had another idea.  And maybe as a public company, they had to.  Be a first mover.  Instead of zigging like everyone else and using up young players at bargain pre-arbitration rates then trading them (I'm looking, at you, Nats), just zag.  Sign your budding potential stars like Acuña and Albies waaaay early to long contracts and gamble on their health and success.  The early returns are damn positive.  

So with Strider, the Braves quintuple/sextuple down on this strategy.  Buh-bye Freddy Freeman.  Hello Acuňa, Albies, Riley, Olson, and Harris.  And now Strider.  The first pitcher to join the club. Will it work?  I dunno. But copycats in Seattle and Tampa clearly like (and have emulated) the strategy.

A personal disclaimer here.  I work for Tesla in Austin.  I regularly see Elon in the building.  Amazon is just down the road.  And so knowingly or not, I'm certainly drinking from the fountain of first-mover-advantage Kool-Aid.  

Do I like the Strider signing for Atlanta?  No, not really.  He is a pitcher.  I almost never like long-term pitching signings.  Outside of my Nats and Scherzer.  But I also remember Corbin and Strasburg. 

But that said, I love seeing the Braves continuing to blaze this new strategic trail.

Bob Elam Bob-in-TX
Oct 11

Signs a six year contract.

Kent Ostby Seadogs
Oct 10
Could return for NLDS
October 9, 2022
Atlanta is optimistic about Strider's chances of being ready for the NLDS against Philadelphia, David O'Brien of The Athletic reports.
Strider has been on the 15-day injured list since suffering a left oblique strain in late-September, but he's been ramping up his throwing of late. Per O'Brien, the team will watch him throw more over the next 48 hours before making a final decision on his NLDS roster status.
Alex Patton Alex
Oct 9