Ryan Braun Rumors

Ryan Braun Signs Extension With Brewers

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.

Cork Gaines writes for Rays Index and can be reached here.


Odds and Ends: Braun, Cueto, Pelfrey

An assortment of links…

  • Ryan Braun‘s agent is in town to talk about extension scenarios with the Brewers.  Perhaps the Brewers could get him for slightly more than the $30MM Troy Tulowitzki received.  As Tom Haudricourt writes, a Prince Fielder extension seems less likely.
  • The Blue Jays once offered Frank Catalanotto for Johnny Cueto, when Wayne Krivsky was new on the job.  Nice try, J.P.
  • Buster Olney believes tonight’s start by Mike Pelfrey might determine the likelihood of the Mets pursuing outside pitching help.  Claudio Vargas remains unsigned.


Odds and Ends: Rauch, Fielder, Braun, Garcia

Some links for you to peruse…



Brewers Make Offers To Braun And Fielder

When the Brewers renewed Prince Fielder’s contract at the beginning of the month, he wasn’t happy about it. He told the press, "My time is going to come. It’s going to come quick, too."

He may have been more right than he knew.

The Brewers have submitted multiyear contract proposals to Fielder and Ryan Braun. Each deal would buy out at least one year of free agency and include an option for an additional year past that.  No word yet on how much money is involved.

Bet on Braun getting at least as much as Troy Tulowitzki — six years, $30MM. Braun last year enjoyed what was arguably the greatest rookie season ever (though, as many have noted, he can’t field a lick). He is eligible for arbitration after the 2010 season and for free agency after 2014.

Fielder, who is represented by Scott Boras, is eligible for free agency after 2011. Not sure what it will take to buy his happiness. Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard was recently awarded $10MM in his first year of arbitration. Fielder could expect a similar payday next season.

This is a savvy move by Brewers owner Mark Attanasio. If Braun and Fielder turn down these contracts, at least Attanasio can say he tried — and he’ll still control the rights to Braun for the next seven seasons, and Fielder for the next three.

Coley Ward writes for Umpbump.com. You can contact him here.


Brewers To Focus On Fielder, Braun

Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun form an awesome tandem; the two Milwaukee sluggers could combine for 90 home runs this year.  According to Tom Haudricourt, they’ve been identified as the first two targets for contract extensions.  Haudricourt says the Crew will want to buy out at least one year of free agency in either case.

Fielder is set to reach arbitration for the first time next year.  Scott Boras mentioned "general discussions" with Doug Melvin on the topic.  I imagine Fielder’s arb years could cost more than $35MM going year to year.  Then he’d want at least $18MM for the free agent year.

Talks thus far with Braun haven’t been serious, though preliminary contact was made a month ago.  At that time Troy Tulowitzki’s deal was considered a possible framework.  Most likely, the Brewers’ waiting until late May to call Braun up last year pushed his first year of arb eligibility to 2010.


Attanasio Wants To Keep Core Together

Brewers’ owner Mark Attanasio promises that Milwaukee will do its best to sign its core of young talent to long-term deals. At the same time, he washes his hands of any blame if Prince Fielder is feeling slighted by the $255,000 raise he got in a contract renewal earlier this year.

Fielder, second baseman Rickie Weeks, left fielder Ryan Braun, and outfielder Corey Hart form the core of Milwaukee’s young team that’s expected to contend in the NL Central for years. "[W]e’re interested in signing all of our younger players to longer-term deals," Attanasio told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel yesterday.

Attanasio blames "the system," which gives pre-arb players no leverage, for Fielder’s relatively modest $670,000 salary this year. The hefty Brewers first baseman became the youngest player in MLB history to clout 50 home runs in a season in 2007.

By Big Mike Glab


Fielder Not Happy With Renewal

3:28pm: Fielder gets $670K, to be exact.  Doug Melvin was surprised at Prince’s public displeasure.

1:46pm: Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that Prince Fielder is not pleased with his contract renewal, executed this morning.

Rumored to be in the $650,000 range, Fielder’s agent, Scott Boras, indicated his client’s displeasure. Ryan Howard’s $900,000 contract for 2007 was cited as the figure the first baseman hoped to fetch for the season.  Fielder made $415,000 last season.

According to Haudricourt, the Brewers used a formula they go by for players with zero to three years experience, a formula which they also used to renew the 2008 contracts for Ryan Braun and Corey Hart.  While the amount of Hart’s renewal is unknown, Braun’s contract was renewed at $455,000. Haudricourt goes on to conjecture that this morning’s renewal has hurt the Brewers’ chance of negotiating a multi-year deal with Fielder before he is arbitration-eligible next winter.

Haudricourt has predicted that Fielder will pull roughly $10MM if his case goes to arbitration, in light of Howard’s recent arbitration victory.

Upsetting the youngest player to reach 50 HRs seems like an unwise decision on the Brewers’ part.  It would be nice to lock up a player of Fielder’s talent long-term, but it seems the Brewers have made that prospect less likely.

Posted by Matt Birt


Brewers Talk Extension With Braun

According to MLB.com’s Adam McCalvyRyan Braun‘s agent had preliminary contract extension talks with Brewers assistant GM Gord Ash recently.  Troy Tulowitzki‘s recent deal may serve as a framework.

Tulo received $31MM over six years with a seventh year option.  For their cases to be comparable in terms of service time, Braun will have to qualify as a Super Two player.  I spoke to ESPN’s Keith Law on the topic.  He said:

Right now, given his service time and where the cutoff for super-twos has been for the last ~ten years, I don’t believe he’ll have enough service time after 2009 to qualify as a super-two. That has to be a $5 million savings for Milwaukee, easily, if Braun does anything like what he did last year.


Brewers Talk Extension With Braun

According to MLB.com’s Adam McCalvyRyan Braun‘s agent had preliminary contract extension talks with Brewers assistant GM Gord Ash recently.  Troy Tulowitzki‘s recent deal may serve as a framework.

Tulo received $31MM over six years with a seventh year option.  For their cases to be comparable in terms of service time, Braun will have to qualify as a Super Two player.  I spoke to ESPN’s Keith Law on the topic.  He said:

Right now, given his service time and where the cutoff for super-twos has been for the last ~ten years, I don’t believe he’ll have enough service time after 2009 to qualify as a super-two. That has to be a $5 million savings for Milwaukee, easily, if Braun does anything like what he did last year.


Ryan Howard Fallout

Ryan Howard winning a $10MM salary yesterday was kind of a big deal.  Let’s examine this first-year arbitration record.

  • A source of Jayson Stark’s thinks the Phillies would’ve won had they submitted above Miguel Cabrera’s $7.4MM.  Seems that even slightly above would’ve done it, because then Howard losing would’ve still set a record.
  • Tom Haudricourt talks about how Prince Fielder is now in line for the same $10MM for his ’09 salary.  And he doesn’t see Scott Boras relenting and doing a multiyear deal.  Stark adds Ryan Braun, Ryan Zimmerman, and Hanley Ramirez as other young stars who will be affected.  Zimmerman, arbitration-eligible after ’08, will be renewed for ’07.
  • It doesn’t sound like the Phillies will sign Howard long-term, in part because there is no precedent.  There is talk of $200MM, something no one expects of the Phils.  On the plus side, Howard is theirs for the 2008-11 seasons.  They may have to keep giving him record-breaking salaries though.  A trade is a strong option before he hits free agency, but that’s a ways off.
  • Jim Salisbury thinks Howard’s win might result in another monster year.  He expects the Phils to eventually at least talk about a multiyear deal with Howard (maybe once the sting wears off).