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.
Rays manager Kevin Cash said that pitcher Nathan Eovaldi will join the starting rotation on Monday or Tuesday to face the Athletics, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Eovaldi’s rehab outing with Triple-A Durham went well, even though he gave up eight runs in four innings.
Eovaldi, 28, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2016 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He had arthroscopic surgery in March to remove loose bodies in his elbow. It’s been a long road back. Knowing Eovaldi needed to recover from surgery, the Rays signed him to a one-year, $2 million contract in 2017 that included a $2 million club option for 2018 that they exercised last November.
When Eovaldi last pitched, he ranked among baseball’s hardest throwers, particularly among starters. He averaged 97.1 MPH on his fastball in 2016. Among starters who racked up at least 100 innings that season, only the Mets’ Noah Syndergaard had a higher average velocity (97.9 MPH). It remains to be seen if he still has that velocity after undergoing two procedures on his elbow.
The Rays will be glad to have Eovaldi back. The club has sustained injuries to Jake Faria, Yonny Chirinos, and Jose De Leon.