Leadoff: Braves owe all players, combined, half as much as Phillies owe Harper

This informative paragraph is tucked deep into a recent securities filing by Braves owner Liberty Media: 

“The Atlanta Braves and certain of their players and coaches have entered into long-term employment contracts whereby such individuals’ compensation is guaranteed. Amounts due under guaranteed contracts as of December 31, 2018, aggregated $165 million, which is payable as follows: $93 million in 2019, $36 million in 2020, $34 million in 2021, $2 million in 2022, less than one million in 2023 and none thereafter.” 

Let’s break down those numbers: 

> The $165 million, representing how much the Braves owe players (and coaches) in guaranteed future payments, is exactly half of what the Phillies last week guaranteed to Bryce Harper ($330 million over 13 years).  In other words, the Braves owe all players, combined, half as much as the Phillies owe one player.

> The $93 million in 2019 guarantees as of Dec. 31 doesn’t mean the Braves will have a $93 million payroll for this season. Their projected major-league payroll is currently around $115 million after factoring in contracts not signed or not guaranteed as of Dec. 31. The payroll remains below last season’s level. 

> The $36 million in contractual commitments for 2020 and $34 million for 2021 are low, underscoring the Braves’ recent reluctance to sign free agents to multi-year contracts. The vast majority of the guaranteed money on the books for 2020 and 2021 is in the contracts of two players: Freddie Freeman and Ender Inciarte. 

RELATED: Liberty Media revealed the Braves’ 2018 financial results, showing large increases in revenue and operating profit.

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LEADOFF LINKS 

> The Falcons must make Grady Jarrett happy. And they will. Read Mark Bradley’s column here.

> Steve Hummer has the lowdown on side-arming Braves reliever Darren O’Day. See story here.

> ICYMI: You no longer will be able to use cash to buy a hot dog or a beer at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.   See story here.

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