Milwaukee Brewers Photo Day

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


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.

Astros stave off AL West elimination, beat the Diamondbacks

Colby Rasmus, Gary Pettis
AP Photo

Facing an elimination number of one, the Astros staved off elimination in the AL West by beating the Diamondbacks on Friday night by a 6-1 margin. The Rangers suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Angels on Saturday afternoon, which temporarily put the Astros’ fate in their own hands.

Colby Rasmus hit a pair of solo homers and Jose Altuve added a solo shot of his own. Starter Collin McHugh tossed seven innings of one-run ball, limiting the Diamondbacks to six hits and a walk with six strikeouts. Reliever Will Harris allowed a solo home run to Paul Goldschmidt in the eighth, but Luke Gregerson closed out the game with a scoreless ninth.

The Astros trail the Rangers by one game in the AL West and lead the Angels by one game for the second AL Wild Card slot. The Rangers can clinch the AL West on Sunday afternoon with a win or an Astros loss. The Astros can clinch the second AL Wild Card on Sunday afternoon with a win or an Angels loss.

The Yankees lost both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Orioles and lead the Astros by only one game for the first AL Wild Card slot.

If the Astros win and the Rangers lose on Sunday, they will play an AL West tiebreaker in Texas. The winner will win the second AL Wild Card if the Yankees win on Sunday, or the first AL Wild Card if the Yankees lose on Sunday.

If the Astros lose and the Angels win on Sunday, the two teams will be tied for the second AL Wild Card. They would play a tiebreaker in Houston, and the winner would play the Yankees in New York in the Wild Card game.

Video: Kelby Tomlinson slides in for an inside-the-park home run

Kelby Tomlinson
AP Photo
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Giants second baseman Kelby Tomlinson looked more like Ladainian Tomlinson the way he was running during Saturday afternoon’s game against the Rockies. In the first inning with one out against starter Chris Rusin, Tomlinson hit a fly ball into the right-center field gap at AT&T Park, a great place to go if you’re in the mood for an inside-the-park home run.

Neither Carlos Gonzalez nor Chris Dickerson could corral the ball before it rolled all the way to the 421-foot marker at the fence. Tomlinson motored around the bases, but Gonzalez made a strong throw into cut-off man D.J. LeMahieu, and LeMahieu made a great throw in to catcher Tom Murphy, but Tomlinson slid in safely just ahead of the tag.

It was an exciting play and the hit proved important as the Giants eked out a 3-2 win against the Rockies.