The Brewers extended outfielder Ryan Braun through 2020, committing 145.5 million dollars to the right-handed power hitter. Braun will make 40.5 million dollars over the next five years of his original contract, but will then make 19 million from 2016-2018, 18 million in 2019, 16 million in 2020, and a mutual option for 2021 worth up to 20 million dollars.
Braun is off to a good start this season, hitting .359 with 5 home runs through 64 at-bats. I'm surprised to see the Brewers lock Braun up after already being committed to him through 2015, but the money over the length of the deal seems favorable now for the Brewers. And rightfully so.
What this deal may also signify is that the Brewers will likely not re-sign Prince Fielder after this season. They have passively tried to trade him, but when the entire league knows that extension talks are going south, he's a tough sell.
One source who recently spoke about Fielder said, "his market is surprisingly shallow because his team has given every indication of wanting to test the market."
If Fielder does indeed test the market, the Brewers will need to find a solid bat to fill the shoes left by Fielder, and the protection he provided for that lineup. One scary thought for Brewers fans would be if Prince Fielder skipped town for Chicago, giving the Cubs the power hitter they need and someone with an ax to grind in the NL Central.