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.