Longtime Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun’s future has been in question since the club declined his 2021 option at the start of the offseason. While the Brewers and Braun have been in contact since then, no deal appears imminent, and retirement seems like a legitimate possibility for the 37-year-old.
“I’m continuing to work out and stay in shape, but I’m not currently interested in playing,” Braun told Adam McCalvy of MLB.com in a text message. “I am enjoying my family and focused on other business interests for now but appreciate the interest I’ve received and will continue to regularly stay in touch with the Brewers.”
Braun has been a Brewer for his entire career, which started in 2007, but the six-time All-Star doesn’t look like an ideal fit for their roster at this point. That’s, of course, assuming the Brewers won’t line him up in the corner outfield on a regular basis. Braun split last year between right and designated hitter, but the Brewers have Avisail Garcia as an RF, while it doesn’t look as if the DH will return to the National League in 2021. Braun could perhaps get time at first base, though the Brewers will primarily turn to Keston Hiura there after signing second baseman Kolten Wong in free agency.
Even if the Brewers had an obvious opening for Braun, it’s debatable whether he’s effective enough anymore to occupy one. While Braun is among the most decorated sluggers in recent memory, he struggled to a career-worst .233/.281/.488 line with eight home runs in 141 plate appearances during an injury-limited 2020. The Brewers then decided to turn down a $15MM mutual option in favor of a $4MM buyout.