Ryan Braun Rumors

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).


Scott Rolen To Milwaukee Rumors

Apparently intra-division trading is no problem for John Mozeliak and Doug Melvin.  Here are two takes on the rumored Scott Rolen to Milwaukee deal.

  • Tom Haudricourt talked to Doug Melvin and learned that nothing is imminent with the Cards.  What’s more, Melvin hasn’t talked to the Cards for weeks. Hmmm.  This trade would require the Cards eating some salary.  Theoretically Ryan Braun would move to left field to accomodate Rolen.  The Brewers could send over Chris Capuano and might try to act like Kevin Mench would sweeten the deal.
  • Buster Olney said this morning that the Cards "have had their most extensive talks with the Brewers" regarding Rolen.  He also names Capuano as the likely target.  Olney ponders whether the Cards would be compelled to pursue Miguel Tejada to replace Rolen at third base.


Olney’s Latest: Benson, Lowell, Chavez, Mulder, Eckstein

Buster Olney’s ESPN Insider blog is always a good source for links from around the league. Let’s see what’s up today.

  • Kris Benson’s agent Gregg Clifton says his client will to throw in Arizona about a week after the Winter Meetings.
  • He says that the Yankees "haven’t put forth any offers that would give them a serious chance to get Mike Lowell." So did the Yankees pull back their offer, or did they even make one in the first place?
  • Eric Chavez just underwent his third surgery in the past two months. With three years and $37 million left guaranteed ($34 million in salary plus a $3 million buyout for 2011).
  • Brewers manager Ned Yost is asking NL Rookie of the Year Ryan Braun to take 1,000 groundballs per day this off-season. Maybe this will help Braun improve from his poor defensive year in 2007.
  • The Cardinals are calling Mark Mulder’s progress "very positive." He’s slated to start throwing in January, and according to the team will be ready to throw off a mound come Spring Training.
  • The Mets are still interested in David Eckstein as their second baseman.

Joe Pawlikowski is co-author of River Ave. Blues, a Yankees blog.


Odds and Ends: Clark, Izturis, Clemens

First day for teams to negotiate with free agents, always a good time.  Here are today’s odds and ends.

  • Jeff Blair notes that one athlete may still be better paid than Alex Rodriguez: Kimi Raikkonen, a Formula One driver, earns $51MM per year.  No need to debate on whether race car drivers should be considered athletes, I just thought it was interesting.
  • The D’Backs don’t figure to spend much on free agents, because they’re a smart team. Tony Clark wants two years, $4MM, and the team is thinking it over.
  • The Bucs will probably hold onto Jack Wilson this winter, as they’re cutting Cesar Izturis loose rather than pay him $5.45MM.  The Cardinals have interest in Izturis, by the way.
  • Confirming what we already knew: the Yankees will pursue Mike Lowell and Johan Santana.
  • Marty York has a source saying the Blue Jays might pursue Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte.  Say what?
  • Doug Melvin isn’t planning on moving Rookie of the Year Ryan Braun from third base unless the Brewers acquire another "legitimate, bona fide third baseman."
  • Mark Gonzales notes that the White Sox tried to acquire Scott Linebrink and Octavio Dotel in 2006, implying that Kenny Williams might go after one of them now.  Linebrink is going to be a costly sign, as he’s a Type A and I imagine the Brewers will offer him arbitration.
  • Scott Gregor places odds on various center field possibilities for the White Sox.  He thinks they have a decent chance of trading for Coco Crisp.