Reaction To Ryan Braun’s Extension

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.


32 Responses to Reaction To Ryan Braun’s Extension Leave a Reply

  1. “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.”

    Probably a safe bet, being that they are creating said inflation in giving out these contracts.

  2. rundmc1981 4 years ago

    If you think contract this is bad then you either don’t know Braun or are basing the numbers on the past and not the future. It’s important that they signed this before Pujols’ contract. They’re practically getting all of Braun’s career for a total of a little more than $150M (his extension combined with his current contract signed after his rookie year). Considering he’s one of the best hitters in the game, a franchise personality, and decent in the field, that’s a bargain NYY wish they had the option of having. Considering his position and his past I can’t see why you’d think that Braun would be declining much after 31 either because of injury or performance. A decline will be minimal.

    • JacksTigers 4 years ago

      “If you think contract this is bad then you either don’t know Braun or are basing the numbers on the past and not the future.”

      You know his numbers of the future already? I almost forgot about his 50 HR year in 2015. That was a fun season.

      • MaineSox 4 years ago

        And you’re just going to let the rest of his comment slide?

        • JacksTigers 4 years ago

          I hit ‘like’. What else do you want from me!!

    • Problem is, he’s already a defensive liability and only figured to get worse. Best-case scenario, this is a Manny Ramirez deal where the team gets a little more value than they pay for. As his bat declines and his defense dovetails this will look like mediocre contract; he’ll be quite valuable for the first few years but I wouldn’t expect anything after that.

      The problem isn’t the years and the dollars, though, it’s the timing. What are the odds Braun gets a $21M AAV when he would have hit FA in 2016? As a 32-year-old almost-DH by that point (if his defense continues to fall) he’s limited to AL teams – who will need to DH him in the final years of his career – or some adventurous NL teams, and who knows what his injury history will look like or how his bat will fare as he gets older?

      The Brewers already had him signed to one of the best deals in baseball; an All-Star LF on a very affordable contract through 2015. If they wanted to keep him around after that, they probably could have with at most only a little more money than they already gave him. Now he’s signed through his age-37 season for market value; I don’t see the upside for Milwaukee.

      • MilwaukeeBravesFan 4 years ago

        Wow… you already know what Braun’s market value will be in 10 years?

        • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

          “Watching him games last year, it seemed that he was focusing on contact and sacrificed some power.”

          that’s an interesting theory, but what you really need is some evidence. keeping in mind that his power dropped by 30 or more points every single season since his rookie year, here’s his LD%

          2007: 16.3 %
          2008: 17.3 %
          2009: 19.4 %
          2010: 16.8 %

          so there miiiight have been something there, though it wasn’t much, from 07 to 09. but 2010 – his worst year for power – pretty much spoils this

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            well this is awkward

            what i wanted to say to you, milwaukeebravesfan, is that the people questioning this deal are not the ones being presumptuous about braun’s future value. you’re thinking of the people who just laid down a hundred million dollars

  3. HowNeatIsThat 4 years ago

    Ryan Braun is a fantastic player. All qualms about his defense should be overshadowed by the impact he makes with the bat. Anyone concerned about the power drop-off last year is fooling themselves. I believe he had one of the best distance per home run rates of anyone in the game. It just seemed as though he made a conscious decision to make more contact, and he certainly did that. So far this year (in an admittedly miniscule sample) the power is back and his walk rate has increased. I honestly believe Braun will improve and be an MVP candidate well into the future. I can’t see this becoming a Soriano, Carlos Lee type disaster. I could be wrong. But as a Brewer fan, it’s very exciting. This generation’s Robin Yount.

    • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

      “All qualms about his defense should be overshadowed by the impact he makes with the bat. ”

      unfortunately, that’s not how baseball works. giving up a run on defense is exactly as bad as producing a run on offense is good

      “Anyone concerned about the power drop-off last year is fooling themselves. I believe he had one of the best distance per home run rates of anyone in the game. ”

      unfortunately, that fact does nothing to change the trend of braun’s ISO since his rookie year:

      2007: .310
      2008: .268
      2009: .231
      2010: .197

      no matter how you slice it, that’s an issue. especially if he’s going to be moved to first base at some point

      • JacksTigers 4 years ago

        You don’t get extra runs for distance. Clete Thomas hit two monster homeruns a couple years ago but he still sucks.

      • HowNeatIsThat 4 years ago

        I’m of the belief that last year was the outlier in that group. Braun has not shown the ridiculous power from his rookie season since, but he has more power than last year. Would a guy with an ISO of .265 or so (which is where I think Braun will float for years, give or take a few) really not be worth this amount of money? Also, the decline in K rate and increasing walk rate is very encouraging.

        • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

          what reason do you have to project a .265 ISO?

          “the decline in K rate and increasing walk rate is very encouraging. ”

          the declining k-rate is nice – and it’s a function of a nice trend in his swinging strike percentage. but the walk-rate isn’t a function of any significant increased patience of the plate. pitches per PA:

          2007: 3.70
          2008: 3.65
          2009: 3.63
          2010: 3.69

          to get a realistic idea of his future, let’s consider adam lind’s 2006 and ryan braun’s regressed 4 year average:

          A 161 games – .300/.355/.540 – .240 ISO – .379 wOBA -13.9 UZR

          B 150 games – .309/.367/.542 – .233 ISO – .393 wOBA -6.6 UZR

          lee was worth 2.8 WAR that year. so, for how many of the following 10 seasons will braun be able to keep his UZR above the lee line? he just about touched it already in 2009. -6.6 is the average over the previous three seasons. last season he posted -9. scary numbers

          .14 points in wOBA is meaningful, but how much more would it be worth over 11 fewer games?

          there are just a lot of questions you do not want to have to ask already when you have just committed to a guy for the next 10 seasons through age 37. i have nothing against the brewers and i’ll be delighted if braun returns to monster form and shows up all the skeptics. but even if he does do that, this contract is just way way too much of a risk for a team like milwaukee to have taken

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            and by adam lind i mean carlos lee. lind’s numbers were a better fit, but he didn’t play left field the entire season

      • MaineSox 4 years ago

        Yes, but when he does hit a home run he hits it really far!

        Chicks dig the long ball, and the longer the better amirite?

        • HowNeatIsThat 4 years ago

          it does demonstrate Braun can still drive the ball as well as almost anyone. Watching him games last year, it seemed that he was focusing on contact and sacrificed some power. He hadn’t taken that approach in his previous years and doesn’t seem to be using it this year. As I said, I believe his drop in power in 2010 will be a statistical outlier.

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

            2010 was an outlier, and 2009 and 2008 were…?

          • HowNeatIsThat 4 years ago

            very good-to-great seasons that not many in the game of baseball can replicate

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

            He also showed progressive significant drops in power each year. 2010 was continuing that trend, so it is hard to call it an outlier. He may come back and show a significant gain in his power numbers this year, but with the way his ISO has been trending you can’t expect it to happen.

    • Especially once they move him to 1B

  4. Hate hate hate hate hate. . . So what were the Brewers supposed to do, let him go to free agency in 4 years and compete with the Yanks offering him a 6 year/ 180 mil$$ contract?? NO WAY! There is absolutely no way you can say this is a bad move by the Brewers.

    • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

      yea it was either let him go to free agency in 2016 or extend him for five years right now. that’s how that works mmmmhmm

      • No it wasnt either or…thats not what im saying. The numbers are the same through his original deal, and if a team like the brewers can lock up a guy like Braun NOW for the next 10 years for that kind of money withouth having to compete with anyone else, its a no brainer….in my opinion

  5. they probably could have with at most only a little more money than they already gave him.

    False…If Braun continues to do what he has done in the first few years of his career, he would have been in high demand in 2016. He is playing the best baseball of his career, works harder than anyone in the game to get better, and has the desire to be the best player in baseball. The guy doesnt care about money, obviously, and will continue to make all you haters jealous that he will be a Brewer for many years to come.

  6. Lunchbox45 4 years ago

    Could this deal have not been done, in say 2013, 2014? When The brewers have a chance to see where Braun is at that point and what the team needs are…

    I just really fail to understand the mindset in doing it NOW.

    • ThePaulCrew 4 years ago

      Because when good players get close to free agency they smell money.. they here people talkin about 150-200 mil contracts. Just look at Pujols and Fielder, they get this hype around them a year or two before free agency and then they require some ridiculous money for an extension. This just eliminates competition for the Brewers.

      • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

        He’ll be 32 at that point with defensive uncertainties…

        • i dont know if you knew or not but the reason the brewers are paying him 150 million over the next 9 years is for his bat not his glove. did you think that they could be moving him to first? i understand that they didnt have to do it now, but considering that the place the cardinals are in and in their current situation with prince they wanted to lock up their best player for the next 9 years.

  7. SpeedS28 4 years ago

    IMO. This is good for the Brewers, but a similar contract may not have been good for other teams in larger markets. I think this is an important strategy for smaller market teams because we (brewers fan here) can’t afford to keep our stars when they hit free agency. We want our stars, but they can never stay. Wouldn’t it have been nice if CC stayed, if Gary Sheffield stayed, Francisco Cordero stayed, etc. It just doesn’t happen here. But now it has….. But if your the Yankees, or Angels, you can just replace you star or add a start with some $$$$$$, thus it wouldn’t be a good deal for them, ala Kevin Brown.

    • AaronAngst 4 years ago

      Sheffield was a cancer that wanted to leave. I recall reading in article in which he actually admitted to not trying when he was in his final days in Milwaukee. Cordero could have stayed for essentially the same deal he got out of the Reds, and I’m glad he didn’t. I think if we continue to show the same support for the team as we have for the past five years, Milwaukee may actually become the sort of place a player wants to stay.

  8. AaronAngst 4 years ago

    My reaction was shock, followed by intense glee, followed by a bout of crying, followed by fear, followed by indigestion, followed by acceptance. Honestly, in a way I’m happy that Attanasio appears to be investing in the future – the debate as to whether or not Braun’s future will be worth as much guaranteed money as he’s going to get is something else entirely. The fact that the owner is willing to make this move can only be viewed as a good thing in my estimation, as a fan of the team. Congrats to Braun.

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