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.
Update (5:16 PM ET): ESPN’s Pedro Gomez is reporting that the deal is final.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Red Sox and outfielder J.D. Martinez are close to a deal. He takes care to note that the deal is not done yet and the details are not known yet.
Martinez, 30, entered the offseason as the top free agent hitter. Last season, between the Tigers and Diamondbacks, he hit a lusty .303/.376/.690 with 45 home runs and 104 RBI in 489 plate appearances. He missed the first 33 games of the season with a sprained right foot; one wonders what his numbers might’ve been like if he hadn’t been injured.
The Red Sox were the team most strongly linked to Martinez throughout the offseason, despite the relatively slow-moving market. Martinez said he wants to play in the outfield and the Red Sox are currently spoken for at all three positions with Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley, and Mookie Betts. Hanley Ramirez is also penciled in at DH. Should the Martinez deal become official, the Red Sox may try to trade Bradley and move Benintendi to center field. If Martinez is willing to concede his outfield wishes, the Red Sox could slot him in at DH and move Ramirez to first base.
The AL East is shaping up to be a familiar two-horse race between the Red Sox and Yankees. The addition of Martinez, in a way, answers the Yankees’ addition of Giancarlo Stanton.