As of February, free-agent outfielder Ryan Braun said he wasn’t interested in continuing his playing career. That still seems to be the case, as Braun stated in a radio interview Monday that he hasn’t touched a baseball or a bat since last season ended, Adam McCalvy of MLB.com tweets. Braun also revealed that he’s “strongly leaning” toward retirement, though he’s not ready to commit to a decision yet.
If the 37-year-old Braun does continue his career, it appears it will have to be with the Brewers – the only organization he has known since he went fifth overall in the 2015 draft. Braun admitted that he “can’t foresee a scenario in which I play for any other major league team,” per Will Sammon of The Athletic.
In the event it’s Brewers or bust for Braun, then the longtime left fielder probably is done. After all, the club already has Lorenzo Cain, Christian Yelich, the newly signed Jackie Bradley Jr. and Avisail Garcia as its top four outfielders. Braun has a bit of first base experience on his resume, but the Brewers are committed to Keston Hiura at that position. It would be easier to envision a Braun-Brewers reunion had the National League kept the designated hitter for 2021, but that’s not happening.
If Braun is done, he’ll exit as a six-time All-Star and a onetime MVP in his league. Braun owns a stellar .296/.358/.,532 line with 352 home runs and 216 stolen bases in 7,340 plate appearances, though he batted a career-worst .233/.281/.488 with eight HRs and one steal over 141 PA last year.