By: Kipp Branch

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

Ronald Jose Acuña Jr. is the best player in baseball. Repeat after me one more time Ronald Jose Acuña Jr. is the best player in baseball. Now that we have that understood let me show you the top ten paid players in baseball:


Ten highest paid players in MLB 2024


Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Dodgers – $70 million

Max Scherzer, Texas Rangers – $43.333 million

Justin Verlander, Houston Astros – $43.333 million

Jacob deGrom, Texas Rangers – $40 million

Aaron Judge, New York Yankees – $40 million

Anthony Rendon, Los Angeles Angels – $38.571 million

Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels – $37.116 million

Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees – $36 million

Patrick Corbin, Washington Nationals – $35.416 million

Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals – $35 million


The current NL MVP is not on this list, but he soon should be.

Ronald Acuña Jr. is not eligible to become a free agent until after the 2026 season, but he is already thinking about a contract that will keep him with the Atlanta Braves for life.

Speaking to reporters from spring training last week, Acuña said it’s “not a secret” he wants to be “a Brave for life” and is hopeful they can “make that happen soon.”

Acuña was the first Braves player who signed one of those team-friendly deals that have become so common with the Braves over the years. He agreed to a 10-year, $100 million deal in 2019, when he was 21 years old. The contract has since been re-worked with an option of free agency after year eight.

I cannot fault the Braves for doing team friendly deals with players that project out to be future superstars. Acuña falls in that category.

Would the Braves risk letting this superstar walk in a couple of seasons? This situation has the potential to not turn out so well if the Braves are not willing to have extension talks with the Acuña camp.

Surely the Braves organization feels that Acuña should be one of the top paid players in the game. I can guarantee you that the Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox, and Mets feel that way.

The longer Atlanta allows extension talks drag out then you allow bitterness to creep in, and if this drags out over a year or so you hurt your chances of resigning the best player in baseball to a long-term extension that will keep Acuña a Braves for life.

After an MVP season the Acuña camp understands their market value, and so do the Atlanta Braves. The Braves knew this day would come.

Grossly undervalued team friendly contracts frustrate me as a fan, but I do understand the business side of it. It feels like a team takes advantage of a young player who comes from a tough background in a developing country. This was Acuña’s case and the Braves threw a big number in front of him at an early age for long-term. The Braves know that if the player develops into a superstar, like in Acuña’s case, then you a very team friendly situation. However, this creates a perception problem.

He led MLB with a .416 on-base percentage, 217 hits and 73 stolen bases last season.

The Braves have Acuña on the books for $17M for 2024. The Yankees are paying Aaron Judge $40M in 2024. The Braves are getting a sweetheart deal here.

Acuña became the first player in MLB history with at least 40 homers and 70 stolen bases in a single season during the 2023 season.

Acuña, the first 40/70 player in MLB history, is the fourth highest paid player on his own team. Matt Olsen, Austin Riley, and Charlie Morton are all compensated better than Ronald.

You must be kidding me. Braves, please get serious about locking down the best player in baseball for life.

Acuña at a minimum deserves Aaron Judge money. Period. End of story. Please get it done Braves. The last thing Braves fans want to hear is the word holdout associated with Ronald Acuña while he is an Atlanta Brave.