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Richest Contracts In Team History: NL East

Who are the big money spenders in the NL East? The New York Mets? Maybe the Philadelphia Phillies? Check out this list!

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After seeing the big money dished out by the Yankees and the Red Sox you would think no one else could match them. Well, you would be wrong because the next division in the “Richest Contracts” series has big spenders as well. The next division we will discuss is the NL East with the Braves, Phillies, Marlins, Nationals, and Mets.

In recent memory, this division has been dishing out gigantic contracts. As far as I’m concerned, the NL East is one of the most active divisions in baseball when it comes to spending big money. That being said, let’s break down the richest contracts in NL East team history.

Atlanta Braves

Largest free agent contract: B.J. Upton, OF (five years/$75.25M, 2013)

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Largest contract extension: Freddie Freeman, 1B (eight years/$135M, 2014)

To kick off this list we have the Atlanta Braves. The Braves are coming off a World Series title but yet they have spent the least amount of money. This does not mean they are a bad team in any way and their World Series rings support that. The B.J. Upton deal was a short lived one as he only played two years in Atlanta before being traded to the San Diego Padres.

As far as extension deals, it makes perfect sense that the record belongs to Freddie Freeman. Freeman has the largest deal and extension in Braves history. He was the next franchise player after Chipper Jones retired. Freeman won an NL MVP as a Brave as well as being a major piece in their 2021 World Series title. While Freeman is now an LA Dodger, he cemented a special place in Braves history.

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Miami Marlins

Largest free agent contract: José Reyes, SS (six years/$106M, 2012)
Largest contract extension: Giancarlo Stanton, OF (13 years/$325M, 2015)

Next we have the Marlins who have been a bit quiet in the last couple of years. But they did sign one of the biggest extension deals in MLB history. The Stanton deal, at the time it was signed, was the largest by total value in baseball history. It is still currently tied for most years on an extension deal and fifth in MLB history money-wise. Stanton only played in Miami for two years of that deal before being traded to the Yankees in 2017.

As far as free agent deals go, the José Reyes deal was part of the rebuild for the Marlins. Reyes was a reigning batting champ at the time. Reyes was only one of the pieces the Marlins brought in to begin their rebrand. However, only a year into that $106 million deal, he was traded to the Blue Jays in a deal involving 12 players. A short-lived free agent deal that went nowhere for the Marlins.

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Washington Nationals

Largest free agent contract: Stephen Strasburg, RHP (seven years/$245M, 2020)

Largest contract extension: Stephen Strasburg (seven years/$175M, 2016)

Next, if you’re a Nationals fan then you would know that Stephen Strasburg has a vice grip on the Nationals pay roll. It did not surprise me to see his name for both records in Washington. Strasburg was drafted number one overall in the 2009 draft and has been nothing short of great since. He signed his extension deal during the 2016 season and his hard work paid off.

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The extension deal had an opt-out clause in 2019 which Strasburg took. The opt-out came immediately after he helped lead the Nationals to a World Series title and he was named World Series MVP. Washington wasted no time and signed the “free agent” Strasburg to his luxurious $245 million deal. Strasburgs deal will probably be the largest in team history until a man named Juan Soto decides if he wants to stay in Washington. Soto reportedly turned down a 13-year, $350 million deal with the Nationals this offseason which would have made him the largest team contract by over $100 million.

New York Mets

Largest free agent contract: Carlos Beltrán, OF (seven years/$119M, 2005)

Largest contract extension: Francisco Lindor, SS (10 years/$341M, 2021)

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Now we have the New York Mets. It makes sense that the other New York team also has a huge budget to be able to pay big money. The Lindor contract extension was signed before he ever touched the field in a Mets uniform. Lindor was traded from Cleveland to New York and his new deal kicks in this upcoming season. Lindors deal is the third largest in total value in MLB history at $341 million.

The Mets were also blessed with Carlos Beltrán in the mid 2000s. Beltrans time in New York was easily one of the most productive periods in his career. He blasted 149 home runs while in New York which is career high at any point his career. Beltrán played out all but the final year of his deal before being traded to the Giants in 2011 for Zack Wheeler.

Philadelphia Phillies

Largest free agent contract: Bryce Harper, OF (13 years/$330M, 2019)
Largest contract extension: Cole Hamels, LHP (six years/$144M, 2012)

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Last up, the team who has spent the most money in the NL East, is the Philadelphia Phillies, who signed one of the largest free agent deals in MLB history. Harper’s contract set records for both the longest deal and most money given to a free agent. Harper’s deal is tied with the Stanton contract in years. Prior to the Harper deal, the Phillies’ largest free agent deal was for pitcher Cliff Lee at $120 million.

When it comes to contract extensions, Philly has made some deals. The Cole Hamels deal was the second-largest for a pitcher at the time, as well as the largest extension for a pitcher. Unfortunately, Hamels contract became too much and he was traded to the Rangers about halfway through the deal. However, he threw a no-hitter in his final start for the Phillies. What a way to leave a city and go make money elsewhere.

The Phillies have spent about $474 million on their largest free agent and extension deals. Between Harper and Hamels, the Phillies wrote some big checks. I would not have guessed the Phillies but here we are knee-deep in the Phillies money I guess.

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Want more MLB content? Check out our website here and check the website for the next divisions highest contracts!

Written By

Born and raised in Independence, MO, 24 years old. 2020 Bachelors Degree in Sports Media from Northwest Missouri State. Sports nut who enjoys bringing information and entertainment to the public!

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