2020 is the final guaranteed year of Ryan Braun’s contract, and the longtime Brewers slugger hinted last January that he could potentially retire at season’s end. However, in comments today to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Todd Rosiak and other reporters Braun said “I feel like it’s more likely that I play another year than I anticipated a few months back.”
Both the shorter 60-game schedule and the ability to serve as a designated hitter are contributing to Braun’s mindset. “For me personally, playing a smaller number of games is something that’s beneficial,” Braun said, and “where I’m at in my career, it’s very appealing to me to have the option to DH for a decent percentage of my at-bats.” Though no decision has been made about whether or not the DH will remain in the National League beyond the 2020 season, it has been widely speculated that MLB could adopt the DH across both leagues in 2021 pending another single-year deal between the owners and players, and then from 2022 and beyond depending on the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
A universal DH would obviously be a boon to older players like Braun, who turns 37 in November. An outfielder for much of his career, Braun has missed his share of time to the injured list due to back and leg injuries, and was originally slated for part-time first base duty (as well as some time in the outfield) for the Brew Crew back when the 2020 season was expected to proceed as scheduled.
Now, Braun projects to get the bulk of Milwaukee’s DH at-bats, which could perhaps lead to a late-career surge. While Braun’s injuries have somewhat limited his production over the last three seasons, he has still been an above-average bat (111 wRC+, 112 OPS+) over 1380 PA from 2017-19, hitting .270/.331/.488 with 59 home runs.
If Braun does want to play next year, of course, the next hurdle could be in finding a team. Braun and the Brewers share a $15MM mutual option on his services for 2021 and, like most mutual options, it is a near-certainty to be declined. While the Brewers wouldn’t want Braun at a $15MM price tag, however, Rosiak notes that the two sides could work out a less expensive one-year contract for Braun to return for his 15th Major League season. The x-factor is the complete unknown that is the 2020-21 free agent class, as it remains to be seen how teams will operate in the wake of a season that saw such a massive decline in revenues, and whether non-superstar free agents will see a real squeeze on contracts.
Imagine if baseball winds up going through that absolutely damning season restart for nothing.
damning? trying to preserve is damning?
Trying to preserve what? Manford kept delaying and asking for the moon all to say that MLB owners were never going to go for more than 60 games. It only hurt everybody in the process. The fans, the players, the MLBPA, the MLB team owners, the commissioner, etc.
sorry, persevere. got lost in the letters there. persevering with the season.
Because of a virus with a 2% fatality rate?
2%, as in 2% fat milk is a low number… 2% as in death is f@$&ing tragic. Let’s not be flippant about people dying.
My compliments for explaining math and humanity on this site. You’re a brave person.
@cosmodeus ….. less than 2%. MLB players are mostly, not all but mostly, symptom free. Had the general public all been tested we would all find out that a much much larger percentage of people have or have had it than previously thought. Common sense. However we do agree, people dying sucks. No matter the percent. Im not here saying ONLY less than 2%. That’s still lives lost.
Just pointing out how it was once as high as 5% and the more they learn and test people the lower it will keep on showing.
happy retirement Ryan. dont let the door hit you on the way out.
King Felix and he can go fishing.
Felix is a good guy, Braun, I get is a bit of a jerk, but Felix is ok.
This article is about how he’ll play much longer because of u-DH. Braun will be able to take a kiddo’s spot until Braun’s 45
Ryan Braun alone is a reason to abhor the NL DH
@sinon swings….. no he will not lol. That’s absolutely laughable.
A skinny guy on drugs, who played the Anti Semite card. There aren’t many bigger pieces of crap than him.
His talent isn’t that great. If anyone hits part time til they are 45 it’s going to be pujols(he might already be 45).
When will this bug-eyed cheater just finally go away?
As soon as Milwaukee stops extending.
Nobody cares, you roid cheater.
Ryan Braun Forever! I hope he comes back.
Oh the Pain
Cheat or not, he has accomplished more at age 36 than his critics will in their entire lives.
Maybe so, but his critics have something that he doesn’t: dignity and respect.
Anybody who spends their days pointing out the failures of others, has neither dignity nor respect.
commending Braun’s production as a baseball player is like commending Bernie Madoff’s ability to earn money.
Lol that was good dark side
I wonder if he isn’t playing in order to flush his system. Since Braun is a scumbag who is incapable of honesty, I refer to Dino Laurenzi Jr for perspective on this P.O.S. Human.
@Steve P – couldn’t agree more. No wonder the Brewers farm is so appalling – instead of training they’re prone on all fours, buttocks exposed awaiting a pr*ck.
They’re missing one this season, how sad….
Hello homophobic in London! How are the crickets chirping this year?
Apologies if you equated that with homophobia. Strangely it was a reference to biogenesis, and Anthony Bosch’s preferred areas for injection.
Lots of guys took roids , he lied about another person and got him fired to protect himself. He’s got zero ethics, he should be in jail for what he did to that guy.
Braun s PURE SKUM.
These comments always surprise me. The guy wasn’t fired because Braun lied. The guy was fired because he completely failed to do his job properly. He was supposed to ship the sample the day of and didn’t. Then he did not store it properly for an entire weekend before finally sending it in. This isn’t a he said she said moment. The person was fired for gross incompetence at his job. You can hate Braun all you want but there was no lie being told as to what happened to the sample.
Just wanted to commend MLBTradeRumors for shutting down the comments section on their articles. Too many “Readers” decided to use this as a forum to vent their personal feelings, push their political agendas, and demean each other‘s opinions in the process. It’s a tough time for everyone but these arguments are not helpful at best and filled with dangerous misinformation at worst. Let’s get back to following baseball rather than casting your unworthy backlash on its players, the writers, and those trying & hoping to have a season.