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Ryan Braun and Brewers agree to 5-year, $105 million contract extension through 2020

Apr 21, 2011, 3:26 PM EDT

Milwaukee Brewers Photo Day Getty Images

Ryan Braun was already under contract through 2015 thanks to a seven-year, $45 million deal signed in mid-2008, but today the Brewers and the slugging left fielder agreed to an extension that will keep him in Milwaukee through 2020.

According to Ken Rosenthal of the new deal is worth $105 million for five seasons and also includes a mutual option for 2021, when Braun will be 37 years old.

Braun’s original deal now looks very team-friendly, with the Brewers buying out his arbitration seasons and then getting his first two years of free agency for $10 million and $12 million.

By the time 2016-2020 rolls around $105 million for five years may also look like a bargain, but the Brewers are still taking a very big and somewhat unnecessary risk by committing to Braun through age 36 when they already had him under team control at reasonable salaries through age 31.

Combining the two contracts, here are Braun’s year-by-year salaries:

Signing bonus: $10 million

2012 – $6 million

2013 – $8.5 million

2014 – $10 million

2015 – $12 million

2016 – $19 million

2017 – $19 million

2018 – $19 million

2019 – $18 million

2020 – $16 million

2021 – $20 million mutual option or $4 million buyout

Braun joins Troy Tulowitzki as the only players in baseball signed through 2020. They were both drafted in 2005, with the Brewers picking Braun out of Miami at No. 5 and the Rockies selecting Tulowitzki from Long Beach State at No. 7. Justin Upton, Alex Gordon, Jeff Clement, and Ryan Zimmerman were the first four picks in that draft, with Ricky Romero going to the Blue Jays in between Braun and Tulowitzki at No. 6.

Braun debuted in May of 2007 as a third baseman, eventually shifting to left field full time in 2008. He’s a career .306 hitter with a .924 OPS, averaging 35 homers, 115 RBIs, and 15 steals per 160 games. Among all MLB hitters with at least 500 games since 2007, he ranks ninth in OPS sandwiched between Chipper Jones (.928) and Hanley Ramirez (.920). His teammate, impending free agent Prince Fielder, ranks fifth at .947.

  1. heffmessina - Apr 21, 2011 at 4:00 PM

    Cool. Time to stop crying about how they can’t spend enough to compete.

    • uberfatty - Apr 21, 2011 at 4:19 PM

      Who has said that recently about Milwaukee? Actually that line of thinking seems to be less common for all teams after TB’s success 2008-2010. Or is that just me?

  2. missthemexpos - Apr 21, 2011 at 4:27 PM

    Some very impressive talent from the top picks of the 05 draft.

  3. Ryan Lansing - Apr 21, 2011 at 4:31 PM

    Obviously any long-term deal carries risk, but Braun profiles the kind of player likely to be productive into his mid-30’s: above-average speed without his game depending on it, no nagging injuries, solid patience and excellent power. To me, the most surprising thing about this (and his previous extension) is that he strikes me as the kind of guy who would want to get himself to a bigger market as soon as he can. Maybe he isn’t as much of a d-bag as he seems to be.

    • koufaxmitzvah - Apr 21, 2011 at 8:34 PM

      Not really sure what made Ryan Braun a d-bag to you. Good looks? Lots of money? Not the best play at 3rd base? An average restaurant that gives back to the community? Unless he no longer reminds you of Dimebag Darrel, I’m gonna make the suggestion that you keep your inferiority complex to yourself.

  4. heffmessina - Apr 21, 2011 at 4:31 PM

    When Tampa hands someone a 100 million dollar contract and gives Jeff Suppan 40 mil more people will tell them to stop whining. To do what they do with that payroll in the AL East is amazing.

    • uberfatty - Apr 21, 2011 at 4:44 PM

      Could you elaborate? Because Tampa hasn’t previously given out large contracts they are whining about not giving out large contracts?

  5. heffmessina - Apr 21, 2011 at 5:06 PM

    I’m not saying they whine but they say it’s pretty impossible for them to spend a lot. The Brewers spend more, whine more and win less. Just mentioned them because someone else did.

    • uberfatty - Apr 21, 2011 at 5:28 PM

      Could you provide a link to an article where the Brewers whine about not being able to compete, or about how playing in a small market is unfair? Not saying you are mistaken, but I just haven’t seen the evidence that you are suggesting is out there.

      • heffmessina - Apr 21, 2011 at 5:46 PM

      • huskerguy - Apr 22, 2011 at 8:49 AM

        That article is a joke. Here is the date: 12/23/08 8:55 PM EST

        Anything newer? People were upset about the CC situation.

      • uberfatty - Apr 22, 2011 at 10:43 AM

        Thanks for the link. I hadn’t seen that from the owner before so it was interesting to read his comments after losing CC. I disagree that the article is a “joke”, since it is exactly at times like that when a team would (should?) be bringing up the issue.

      • huskerguy - Apr 22, 2011 at 10:59 AM

        28 months ago though? I seem to remember that after that the payroll has gone up and they have been a little more aggressive. I meant it as a “joke” because that was almost 2 1/2 years ago after a heartbreaking playoff run. I have not heard that type of comment from the team since as it seems they have been very aggressive keeping up with the bigger market team. I never hear Minnesota complaining.

        Yes, the big markets will have the payroll advantage until a cap comes into play but small market teams can compete. Are the Cardinals considered big market? Tampa Bay?

        I guess to me there is always a line for reality (the reality is that NY will always have more $$$) and excuses (hard to use that year after year when other small market teams compete just fine).

        But that is just my opinion… everyone has one.

  6. Ari Collins - Apr 21, 2011 at 5:09 PM

    Terrible contract. They aren’t saving much money by giving him a $20M/yr deal, and they’re taking on an enormous amount of risk WAY ahead of when they needed to. If they waited three or four years and extended him, they wouldn’t cost themselves much money and would be protected if he gets hurt or declines.

    There’s a reason teams don’t extend guys for ten years when they already have them for five more. Unless you’re the Rockies or Brewers, apparently.

    • JBerardi - Apr 21, 2011 at 5:18 PM

      Yeah, no idea why they felt they needed to do this now.

      • spudchukar - Apr 21, 2011 at 5:45 PM

        To lure Fielder into staying, and signing a long term deal in the Braun range?

      • Ari Collins - Apr 21, 2011 at 7:39 PM

        Fielder is a Boras client. He’ll go for the most money. And he’ll probably get more money than that.

      • paperlions - Apr 21, 2011 at 8:43 PM

        Who is gonna give a fat man that will have to move to DH soon more than $105MM?

  7. shaggytoodle - Apr 21, 2011 at 11:06 PM

    I am happy for both parties. Unfortunetly being a small market can make teams feel needs to take a risk, with younger players, Tulo in Colorado. While he did have a few years left on his contract, the Brewers must have felt like it wasn’t even worth him thinking about FA so I don’t blame them for locking him up. He is one of the best young hitters in the game with GREAT company for the kind of production at this point in thier careers.

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