The Atlanta Braves reached contract extensions with four of their main cogs in the past weeks, and have announced an extension for a fifth this morning. CBS and ESPN are both reporting that SS Andrelton Simmons has signed a seven-year deal worth $58 million to lock him down into the next decade.
The deal comes with a $1 million signing bonus, and has annual salaries of $1M, $3M, $6M, $8M, $13M, $15M, and $17M.
The 24-year old shortstop would have become eligible for arbitration after this season. 1B Freddie Freeman, OF Jason Heyward, and P Craig Kimbrel were also all headed to arbitration, but have signed deals over the past couple of weeks along with P Julio Teheran.
Simmons had a breakout year for Atlanta, winning a Gold Glove and leading the league in assists (499). At the plate, Simmons hit .249 with 17 HR and 59 RBI, appearing in 157 of the team's 162 games.
The deal means that a large chunk of the Braves' core is now locked into long-term contracts. All but Heyward are signed through 2018, when the Braves' new stadium is scheduled to open. Despite not signing very many free agents, the Braves have at least ensured the stability of their core for the next several seasons.