Freeman salary above $20 million in last 5 years of deal

Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman, sitting next to Braves General manager Frank Wren, announces that he has agreed to terms with the team that will keep him in a Braves uniform for eight years, on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, in Atlanta.

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Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman, sitting next to Braves General manager Frank Wren, announces that he has agreed to terms with the team that will keep him in a Braves uniform for eight years, on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, in Atlanta.

The salary in Freddie Freeman’s record-breaking eight-year, $135 million contract jumps to more than $20 million annually for the last five years of the deal, which would have been his free-agent years and coincides with the Braves’ move to a planned new ballpark.

Two days after the deal was announced, salary figures were revealed Thursday by a person familiar with the contract: Freeman gets a $2.875 million signing bonus, then salaries of $5.125 million in 2014, $8.5 million in 2015 and $12 million in 2016, which would have been his three arbitration years if he hadn’t signed the long-term extension.

The salary soars to $20.5 million in 2017, then $21 million in 2018 and 2019, and $22 million in the last two years of the deal, 2020 and 2021.

The sharp increase in salary would come in the team’s first five seasons in a new stadium in Cobb County, where the Braves are counting on increased revenues from ticket sales and the adjacent retail and entertainment village they will control and intend to have open when they move to the ballpark.

Wren said the Freeman signing was the first big part of the Braves’ plans to keep together most of their core of young players for years to come, particularly players they drafted and developed.

Freeman, who turned 24 in September, also can earn various bonuses for awards, but there are no salary escalators or option years in the contract. He made the All-Star team for the first time in 2013, his third full season in the majors, and also finished fifth in the National League MVP balloting.

Freeman hit .319 with a .396 on-base percentage, 23 homers and 109 RBIs, making him the Braves’ first 100-RBI man since 2007. He has hit more than 20 homers in each of his three seasons.