Ryan Braun to ink record contract

15 05 2008

UPDATE 05-15-08 11:30am – The deal is officially $45M for seven years.  The deal could go up to $51M if Ryan qualifies as a “Super 2” player in November.  This would mean that he only would need two full years of service before being arbitration-eligible.  If this is the case, the Brewers will have bought out three free agency years.  The number may be large, but it looks to be a team-friendly deal.

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Tom Haudricourt is reporting that Ryan Braun has signed a record contract extension with the Milwaukee Brewers. It is expected to be a seven-year deal that is an addition to this year’s salary, so the team would be buying out two years of his free agency.

Troy Tulowitzki of the Colorado Rockies signed a six-year $31M deal that bought out one year of his free agency. Since Braun beat him in the Rookie of the Year voting and the team is buying out two years of FA, I expect this deal to be pretty hefty. I’m thinking somewhere near the $48-49M range. Not a bad deal for a second-year player.

I like this move a lot for the Brewers. Braun was not going to be arbitration-eligible until after the 2010 season, so there was a lot of incentive for him to get guaranteed money and sign the contract. With arbitration numbers getting higher and higher, it is conceivable that the Crew would have had to pay Braun $9M or so in the first arb year. This deal will save the team a good deal of money down the road…not to mention lock up good talent for two extra years.

Reading other blogs and comments, people believe that this is a slap in the face to Prince Fielder. He has made his displeasure about his contract well-known, and he presumably wanted a long-term deal that paid him more money than he is getting currently. Everyone is now screaming: Why don’t we sign Prince Fielder now? Let me say this slowly for you… it. would. not. make. sense.

The entire point of drafting a contract like Ryan Braun’s is to save the team money during the arbitration years and to keep the player an extra season or two. Ryan is far enough away from arbitration-eligibility that he is willing to sacrifice money down the road to get paid now. It makes plenty of business sense. Prince Fielder is demanding Ryan Howard type of money. That means that he will expect to make $10M next season and go up after that. Why would the Brewers guarantee him that kind of money? Why not take your chances with arbitration and try to get it down to $7-8M? Fielder would be in the driver’s seat if the Brewers signed him to a deal now, and that is why most teams do not sign players to contract extensions the year before they are arbitration eligible…especially ones that are demanding the type of money Prince is. Prince will cost money either way. The team might as well take its chances with arbitration or get a compromise worked out, rather than pay Prince top dollar like he is demanding.

Congratulations to Ryan Braun. Nice move by Doug Melvin to get this ironed out before Ryan had a chance to have another big season that would have upped the price tag. With that said, I believe Ryan’s signing is a signifier that Prince will not be with the Brewers any longer than necessary.

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4 responses

15 05 2008
Bob

Ryan is a beast. Hands down.

15 05 2008
Prince Fielder

Why do I get no love here? All I did was hit 50 home runs last season. I think I deserve a contract extension too…

16 05 2008
ryan braun | Jack Fans

[…] money is not known yet, …MLB Rumors – MLBTradeRumors.com – http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/|||Ryan Braun to ink record contractTom Haudricourt is reporting that Ryan Braun has signed a record contract extension with the […]

12 08 2008
Right Field Bleachers » Blog Archive » In the News (5/15)

[…] BrewersNation: “Congratulations to Ryan Braun. Nice move by Doug Melvin to get this ironed out before Ryan had a chance to have another big season that would have upped the price tag.” […]

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