10:50am: More details from Haudricourt. The deal includes a $2.3MM signing bonus that will be paid this year and added to the $455K Braun was already set to make. In addition, there is an escalator clause that would up the value of the deal to $51MM if Braun’s service time were to fall under "Super-2" status following the ’09 season. That is not likely to happen as Braun acumulated only 129 days of service time in ’07 and "Super-2" status usually requires 130-140 days. Also, the first 4 years of the deal include a complete no-trade clause.
10:06am: Haudricourt is now reporting that contract is 8 years in length and will include the ’08 season and will be worth $45MM. This seems to confirm that the Brewers are buying out Braun’s first two years of free agency.
9:08am: Continuing the trend of signing young stars to long-term deals long before arbitration-eligibility, Tom Haudricourt is reporting that the Brewers have inked Ryan Braun to a 7-year deal.
The amount of money is not known yet, but it is expected that the contract will be worth more than the $42MM deal signed by Jeff Suppan prior to the ’07 season. That deal is currently the largest ever given by the Brewers.
Braun, 24 and last year’s NL Rookie of the Year, was promoted last season in a manner that would have kept him just under Super-2 eligibility and he likely would not have been arbitration eligible until after the ’10 season and a free agent until the fall of 2013.
If we assume the 7-year deal begins this season and that one or two years are team options that are eventually picked up, the Brewers have only bought out one year of free agency. Although Haudricourt believes the deal is an extension tacked on to this year’s 1-year deal. That would mean the Brewers bought out two years of free agency.