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The Atlanta Braves on Tuesday announced that they've signed newly acquired first baseman Matt Olson to an eight-year contract extension that will pay him $168 million. The deal will run through the 2029 season and includes a $20 million club option for 2030. 

The Braves on Monday sent four prospects to the A's in exchange for Olson in one of the biggest trades of the offseason. The deal for Olson in essence ensured that franchise legend Freddie Freeman, who like Olson plays first base, will sign elsewhere as a free agent.

Olson's extension will pay him $15 million for the 2022 season, $21 million for 2023, and $22 million per season for the remainder of the contract. 

Olson, who turns 28 on March 29, is a native of the Atlanta area. Last season, he batted .271/.371/.540 (153 OPS+) with 39 home runs and 88 walks for Oakland. Olson also reduced his strikeout rate from 31.4 percent to 16.8 percent, which is the largest season-to-season decrease among everyday players. That positive development was accompanied by a big jump in Olson's contact rate: instead of connecting on 70 percent of his in-zone swings, as he had the year prior, he made contact on close to 82 percent of them in 2021. For his career, Olson has an OPS+ of 134 across parts of six major-league seasons. He has to his credit one All-Star appearance (2021) and two Gold Gloves. 

While the emotional ties to Freeman in Atlanta are strong, Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos is no doubt betting that Olson, who's more than four years younger than Freeman, will approximate or even exceed his numbers during the Braves' current window of contention. Freeman is reported to be seeking a six-year deal, which would carry him through his age-37 campaign. Olson, meantime, will be 35 when the Braves' commitment ends and 36 during his option year. 

Thanks to earlier contract extension, the Braves also have star outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. and star second baseman Ozzie Albies under contract through 2028 and 2027, respectively (via options). Olson obviously now fits a similar timeline. 

"I think it was important that once Matt got into this clubhouse and into this community that everybody knew that this was a long-term thing," Anthopoulos said during the introductory press conference for Olson on Tuesday. "That he was going to be now one of our core players with Acuña, Albies, [Austin] Riley, [Dansby] Swanson, Max [Fried], Ian Anderson and so on. He's now part of this core, he's one of the group."