I'm firmly starting to believe that Mark Attanasio is the greatest thing that ever happened to the Milwaukee Brewers. Not only do we get to hear his father Joseph croon out the national anthem at Opening Day each and every year, but he has somehow turned the wastleland of baseball into a viable playoff contender. Not only that, but the guys on his team are willing to spend their careers in Milwaukee, because Attanasio is willing to pay out the bucks to do so (when he can).
The joke about the Brewers five years ago was always that even though we had a lot of young studs coming up through the system, their time in Milwaukee was basically just going to be an extended tryout before they moved on to larger markets such as New York or Los Angeles. But little by little, Attanasio and General Manager Doug Melvin are locking these guys in to Milwaukee for much longer than we thought they would. Granted, it's not going to work with everyone (CC Sabathia - although I still believe he'll finish his career in Milwaukee as like a fourth or fifth starter or something, and it doesn't look like Prince Fielder is going to be here much longer), but they're doing a lot better job in locking in guys than previous tenures have. Case in point - Ryan Braun is going to be a Brewer until 2020. I'll let Tom Haudricourt explain:
The five year (extension), which runs from 2016-2020, (is) worth $105 million. There is a $10 million signing bonus, with salaries of $19 million in 2016, 2017 and 2018, $18 million in 2019 and $16 million in 2020. There is a mutual option in 2021 worth up to $20 million with a $4 million buyout. It includes a no-trade provision and Braun agreed to defer some salary to help keep the team competitive.
The annual yearly value of $21 million is second-highest ever for an outfielder (after Manny Ramirez's last two-year deal with Dodgers).That's in addition to the $45 million, eight-year deal he signed in May 2008 -- still the largest deal ever (total and AAV) signed by a player with less than one year of service time.
Braun is now guaranteed $145.5 million from this season through the end of the extension.
I gotta say, I like the move. How can you not? Braun is a top five player in this league and the fact that he's committed to this team and the future is going to go a long way in showing other guys like Prince to maybe stick around, and it's going to make Milwaukee a much more attractive place for potential free agents to sign here. I'm a bit shocked that this extension occured, as he already was locked up until 2015, but sometimes being shocked is a good thing.
Elsewhere in Brewers land, Milwaukee is once again a two-catcher team as George Kottaras has been sent to Nashville after clearing waivers, a roster move likely made to bring Shaun Marcum back to the club after he spent some time visiting his ailing father. Reliever Mike McClendon is back in Nashville as well to make room for LaTroy Hawkins who is back from a stint on the DL.