Ryan Braun Rumors

Odds And Ends: O’s, Phillies, Braun, DeRosa

More links for the afternoon…

Rosenthal’s Latest: Kotsay, Fuentes, Glavine, Smoltz

On August 18th, Rosenthal mentioned Mark Kotsay had cleared waivers, and that Brian Fuentes had not yet been placed.  Here’s an update, from today’s Inside Pitch video:

  • The Brewers and Red Sox are both showing interest in Kotsay.  The Brewers would only pursue a trade if Ryan Braun‘s ribcage injury worsens, and so far he looks more than fine.  The Sox made a play for lefty-hitting Brian Giles before Giles vetoed the deal, so it makes sense that they’d exert similar effort toward Kotsay. Even more so now that J.D. Drew has a herniated disc.
  • Fuentes is expected to be put on waivers this week, a process that’s not usually made public, let alone announced, so the Rockies must be keen to see if they can do better in a trade than the two first round draft picks they get by keeping Fuentes.  According to Rosenthal, as things stand, the Dodgers currently have waiver priority.  If they pass for salary reasons, the Phillies could be a roadblock for the Mets.
  • Rosenthal also mentions a delicate situation in Atlanta: Tom Glavine and John Smoltz both want to pitch next year, and Glavine only wants to pitch for the Braves.  The Braves are faced with re-signing the inevitable Hall of Famers without being as reliant on their health as they were this year, or letting them go despite their long history with the team. Toss Mike Hampton‘s arm into the mix as well.

Ryan Braun Contract Details

Tom Haudricourt has the details on Ryan Braun‘s new extension.  It’s a tricky one, because it’s not yet known whether Braun will be arbitration-eligible after the 2009 season.  It won’t be known for sure until November of ’09.  If he is arb-eligible at that time he’ll make an extra $6MM.

It’s looking like Braun will earn $4.5MM (including a signing bonus) for his three pre-arb years.  Then he’ll get $18.5MM for his three arb years (less than 80% of what Hanley Ramirez will get for the same slice of his career).  After that Braun gave up his first two free agent years for $22MM.  That’s also significantly less than Ramirez will receive his first two years of free agent eligibility.

Baseball Blogs Weigh In: Braun, Holliday, Kouzmanoff, Greene, Sabean

Let’s take a look at what is being said about some recent rumors, trades and signings in the Blogosphere…

  • Right Field Bleachers sees the signing of Ryan Braun and Corey Hart to long-term deals as a "must" for the Brewers.
  • Brewers Nation sees the Braun deal as evidence that Prince Fielder will not sign an extension even if the two situations are very different.
  • Oleanders and Morning Glories thinks that if Nats’ management was hoping to sign Ryan Zimmerman to a Troy Tulowitzki-type deal, Braun’s deal may have raised the bar.
  • Squawking Baseball sees the recent trend in giving long-term deals to young stars and wonders if the absence of top-level free agents in a few years will drive up free agency prices. If that happens, players may stop signing these extensions and the market will correct itself…The point is valid, but these players will still become free agents eventually. The difference is only that they will be free agents in their age 30 season (approximately) instead of their age 28 season. If there is a correction, it will only be minimal and would only last a year or two.
  • The Tribe Time Report explains why Matt Holliday would be a perfect fit for the Indians even if it is only for a season and a half.
  • Friar Forum does not seem surprised about the notion of the Padres selling off pieces sooner, rather than later. However, they would be surprised to see Kevin Kouzmanoff moved, noting that it is much more likely that the slew of free agents-to-be will be shipped to other clubs.
  • The Southpaw would love to see the Jays make a push for Khalil Greene, but their scenario is contingent on the Padres also dealing Kouzmanoff.
  • Sorry we missed this before, but in light of Brian Sabean’s recent comments, I felt it was worth noting that Bucs Dugout has been running a series of polls to determine the worst GM in baseball. The finals featured Sabean easily out-distancing his opponent, Ed Wade of the Astros.

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

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