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Brewers Extend Slugger

The title may be a little misleading. When I saw similar headlines, I assumed that Milwaukee had come to an agreement with first baseman Prince Fielder. However, it was another power hitting Brewer that got paid Thursday. Ryan Braun, Milwaukee's stud left fielder, has reached an agreement on an extension with the team.

ryan braun
Braun has set himself up nicely through his 37th birthday


At only 27 years old, this is already Braun's 2nd multi-million dollar deal. After being on the team for a year, the Brewers agreed to an 8 year $45 million contract extension that kept Braun with the club through 2015. This new extension is for $105 million and keeps Braun with the Brew Crew through 2020. Starting in 2016, Braun will earn $21 million a year. This is currently the second largest per year average contract ever given to an outfielder, behind only Manny Ramirez's $22.5 million.

Though these are ridiculous numbers, if there was a hitter to warrant such a contract it is Braun. He has a lifetime average of .308 and his career OPS is .924. Since coming up in 2007 Braun has averaged 32 homeruns and 105 RBIs a year. Braun hits his share of doubles and has stolen at least 14 bases every year since breaking into the league. The three time all star was the 2007 Rookie of the Year and has won 3 Silver Slugger awards. He made it as high as 3rd overall in the MVP voting in 2008, and has started out this season as hot as ever, hitting .359 with 5 homeruns and 12 RBIs.

Braun's extension pretty much closes the door on any chance Prince Fielder will be a Brewer after this season. Fielder, who becomes a free agent after this year, did not appear to be in the Brewer's long term plans as his price tag and weight have continued to climb. The slugger is poised to be either a hot commodity at the trade deadline or on next year's free agent market.

I really like the move by the Brewers. With their off season additions and the pending free agency of Fielder, it seemed Milwaukee was going all in for this season. The Braun extension shows that the Brewers are willing to spend on talent and are looking beyond just the 2011 season.
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Comments
6 Comments. [ Add A Comment ]
1. April 22nd 2011 @ 03:52. Joe Soriano Says:
I know somebody who thinks Braun is overrated, and now you have given me some statistical reasons to prove why he isn't. Braun is a great all-around player whose "off-year" in 2010 was a very good year by most standards.
2. April 22nd 2011 @ 13:14. Short Says:
When I saw that he was averaging over $20 mil a year I was caught off guard a little bit, but after I looked over the stats I'm with you. The only argument I can see would be against his defense, but when you hit like Braun that will be a very short argument.
3. April 22nd 2011 @ 18:18. Joe Soriano Says:
I actually don't like the deal from a commitment standpoint. They already had Braun locked up until his prime-31- and now he will be playing for them for 21 million until he is 36. By that point, his play will not merit that much money. And plus, they have already committed a lot of money to players like Greinke and Gallardo. Where does the rest go to a guy like Fielder who is set to become a free agent? Fielder is more important to the Brewers, so this whole deal creates some interesting contract problems for Milwaukee. Small market teams in win-now mode that like to spend will almost always put themselves in a bad situation.
4. April 22nd 2011 @ 19:01. Short Says:
I think the deal shocked many people because the Brewers seemed to be in the win now club like they were when they went out and got CC. The Braun deal doesn't signal that, extending a player who was already under control through 2015. It is certainly an interesting move and could have been done more to make a statement that yes we are planning on contending beyond this season or to show others that they are willing to pay top dollar for talent.

I do agree that the deal doesn't look as good as he ages out. A team like the Yankees may be able to afford paying aging talent $20 mil a year but I think it will clearly impact a club like Milwaukee.
5. April 23rd 2011 @ 05:05. Joe Soriano Says:
Exactly, the Brewers should be in win-now mode with the recent changes they made. They already had Braun locked up, and the deal goes against everything they should be doing. They are basically throwing money away. That money could have gone to Fielder or maybe even someone acquired at the deadline if the Brewers are truly in win-now mode. We'll just have to see how it plays out.
6. April 23rd 2011 @ 05:07. Joe Soriano Says:
Exactly, the Brewers should be in win-now mode with the recent changes they made. They already had Braun locked up, and the deal goes against everything they should be doing. They are basically throwing money away. That money could have gone to Fielder or maybe even someone acquired at the deadline if the Brewers are truly in win-now mode. We'll just have to see how it plays out.

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