The Brewers already had Ryan Braun under contract through 2015, but they doubled their commitment to their star outfielder today by signing him to a five-year, $105MM extension that will keep Braun in Milwaukee through the 2020 season. The length and timing of the extension has already generated a lot of reaction from the baseball media. To wit...
- The extension is "a mistake," writes Dan Szymborski for ESPN.com (Insider subscription required), since Braun will be on the decline by the time his extension begins in his age 31 season.
- Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com thinks the club "could have waited a year or two to extend" Braun and feels the extension is risky. However, Knobler noted that mid-market teams like Milwaukee and Colorado (who signed Troy Tulowitzki to a similarly lengthy extension in November) face a risk in letting star players even approach free agency, citing Albert Pujols and the Cardinals as an example. Knobler has a point -- had St. Louis signed Pujols to a five-year, $105MM extension covering 2012-2017 after, say, the 2006 season, the Cards would look like geniuses right now.
- Also in reference to the Tulowitzki contract, Fangraphs' Joe Pawlikowski notes that the Brewers, like the Rockies did in November, are betting on significant contract inflation in baseball over the next decade.
- The overwhelming consensus from almost every writer is that Braun's extension solidifies the fact that the Brewers won't try to re-sign Prince Fielder this winter. Milwaukee GM Doug Melvin, however, says that Braun's deal won't have much effect on what the Brewers may or may not do with Fielder, reports MLB.com's Adam McCalvy.