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

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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 FOXSports.com 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.

Jason Kipnis diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Jason Kipnis #22 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates after scoring a run on a wild pitch thrown by Jon Lester #34 of the Chicago Cubs (not pictured) during the fifth inning in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.

There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.

Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.

Report: Cardinals are scouting Cuban outfielder Luis Robert

ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 25: Baseballs sit in the St. Louis Cardinals dugout prior to a game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on April 25, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by David Welker/Getty Images)
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According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cardinals are keeping an eye on outfield prospect Luis Robert. The 19-year-old left his native Cuba last November and is expected to command interest from multiple MLB teams as he approaches free agency. Goold adds that the Cardinals sent scouts to evaluate Robert’s workouts in the Dominican Republic as recently as last week.

There’s still a good chance that the club won’t get a shot at signing him; as Craig mentioned last month, it seems likely that Major League Baseball won’t declare Robert a free agent until after June 15. By July 2, the new Collective Bargaining Agreement’s policies on international bonuses will go into effect, handcuffing teams with the maximum penalty for bonuses to a $300,000 signing figure for any available international prospect. It’s designed to effectively take away those teams’ abilities to sign additional international talent, and the Cardinals have already spent a reported $9.35 million in bonuses on Venezuelan outfielder Victor Garcia, Cuban outfielders Jonatan Machado and Randy Arozarena and Cuban right-hander Johan Oviedo.

Until the cutoff in mid-June, the Cardinals are likely to continue actively scouting other international talent, including Robert. MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez quotes an anonymous National League scouting director who describes Robert as the No. 2 talent behind Japanese wunderkind Shohei Otani. The 19-year-old hit .286/.319/.397 with a .716 OPS during a 16-game run in the Canadian-American League in 2016, following up an impressive three-year tenure with the Ciego de Avila in the Cuban National Series from 2013-2015.