The Brewers announced a five-year, $105 million extension with Ryan Braun yesterday that will keep him in Milwaukee through at least 2020, but they’ll actually be paying him for much, much longer.
According to Colin Fly of the Associated Press, the new contract includes at least $18 million in interest-free deferrals through 2031. In other words, until Braun turns 47 years old.
The agreement includes a $10 million signing bonus payable in four equal installments each April 1 from 2012 through 2015. Of his salary, $4 million annually from 2016-18 will be deferred without interest and $3 million a year in both 2019 and 2020. The deferred money will be paid in equal installments each July 1 from 2022 to 2031.
As Braun’s agent Nez Balelo explained yesterday, the deferrals will give the Brewers added flexibility to remain competitive over the life of the contract. They’ll actually have a payroll hit of $15 million annually from 2016-2019 and $13 million in 2020.
Of course, deferrals are nothing new around baseball. The Cardinals will be paying Matt Holliday through 2029 while the Mets won’t be finished paying Bobby Bonilla until 2035.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that talks between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players’ Association concerning pace of play changes have stalled, which makes it more likely that commissioner Rob Manfred unilaterally implements the changes he seeks. Those changes include a pitch clock and a restriction on catcher mound visits.
Manfred said, “My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players. But if we can’t get an agreement, we are going to have rule changes in 2018, one way or the other.”
The players have made several suggestions aimed at reducing the length of games, such as amending replay review rules, strictly monitoring down time between innings, and bringing back bullpen carts.
It is believed that MLB is proposing a pitch clock of 20 seconds. If a pitcher takes too long between pitches, he will have a ball added to the count. If the hitter takes too long, then he will have a strike added to the count.