How deadline deals affected Braves’ payroll

Relief pitcher Raisel Iglesias, traded by the Los Angeles Angels to the Braves on Tuesday, throws a pitch in a game against  the Baltimore Orioles on July 8, 2022, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

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Relief pitcher Raisel Iglesias, traded by the Los Angeles Angels to the Braves on Tuesday, throws a pitch in a game against the Baltimore Orioles on July 8, 2022, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Credit: AP

The Braves’ 2022 player payroll, already at a franchise-record level, surpassed $180 million with a flurry of moves before Tuesday’s trade deadline.

The four players the Braves acquired in separate trades this week – starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi, relief pitcher Raisel Iglesias, outfielder Robbie Grossman and infielder Ehire Adrianza -- will be paid at least a combined $7.75 million for the remainder of the season. In addition, Odorizzi’s contract, assumed by the Braves, calls for incentive bonuses based on innings pitched and a multi-million-dollar buyout if he declines a 2023 player option.

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The Braves’ added costs are mitigated by shedding about $5 million in remaining 2022 salaries in the trades, mostly by sending relief pitcher Will Smith to the Houston Astros for Odorizzi.

Not including Odorizzi’s potential incentive bonuses or buyout, the trades put the Braves’ 2022 payroll at about $181 million, according to calculations by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution -- up 39% from $130 million at the start of last season and up 22% from $148 million at the end of last season.

The Braves’ payroll ranks eighth or ninth among the 30 MLB teams, likely eighth after factoring in the variables of the Odorizzi contract. The game’s biggest spending teams -- the Dodgers, Mets and Yankees -- have payrolls above $250 million each.

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Here’s a financial breakdown of the Braves’ trades this week:

Acquiring Iglesias from the Los Angeles Angels for relief pitcher Jesse Chavez and pitching prospect Tucker Davidson: Iglesias has a $10 million salary this year, about $3.6 million of which became the Braves’ responsibility for the remainder of the season. More significantly, the Braves assumed the $48 million left on his contract for the next three years: $16 million per year in 2023, 2024 and 2025. Chavez has a $1.25 million salary this season, almost $450,000 of which the Angels assumed.

Acquiring Odorizzi from the Astros for Smith: From a financial perspective, this was the most complicated of the Braves’ trades this week.

Odorizzi has a $5 million base salary this year, about $1.8 million of which became the Braves’ responsibility. He has pitched only 60 innings this season because of a leg injury that sidelined him for 1-1/2 months but, according to reported terms of his contract, will get a $500,000 incentive bonus if he reaches 100 innings, plus another $1 million for each 10 innings beyond that (up to 150 innings). If he were to pitch, for example, 50 innings over the next two months to reach 110 for the season, the Braves would owe him $1.5 million in incentives on top of the remaining base salary. Also of significance, Odorizzi’s contract contains a 2023 player option of $6.5 million to $12.5 million with a buyout of $3.25 million to $6.25 million, both ranges based on number of starts.

The Astros, on the other hand, assumed the approximately $4.6 million remaining on Smith’s $13 million salary for this season, plus his $1 million buyout (or $13 million club option) for next year.

Acquiring Grossman from the Detroit Tigers for minor-league pitcher Kris Anglin: Grossman has a $5 million salary this year, making the Braves’ prorated portion about $1.8 million. He’s a free agent after the season.

Acquiring Adrianza from the Washington Nationals for minor-league outfielder Trey Harris: Adrianza signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Nationals after playing for the Braves last season. The Braves assumed the approximately $550,000 left on that contract.

While the trades raised the Braves’ 2022 payroll, the organization assumed much larger future obligations this week by signing third baseman Austin Riley to a 10-year, $212 million contract that begins next season and assuming the $48 million owed to Iglesias for the next three seasons. Riley’s contract, the most lucrative in franchise history, will pay him $15 million in 2023, $21 million in 2024 and $22 million per season from 2025 through 2032.

The Braves’ recent spending comes amid the team’s surging home attendance, which is on pace to top 3 million this season for the first time since 2000.