Ultimately, the Brewers made a pact. Why pay money to another team to have Braun play for them, just so we can HOPE we get another player who is cheaper?
Braun is owed 72 Million Dollars by the Brewers between the start of the 2017 season and the end of the 2020 season. In 2021, Braun has a mutual option worth $15 million plus performance incentives.
I believe by that point the Brewers would decline to bring him back. It seems reasonable that Braun would probably hang it up and call it a career after the team exercises their part in the option decision.
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Braun will turn 37 in the 2020 offseason, and it should be noted that in addition to the decision on the option in 2021, some of his contract also includes annual payments of deferred money over the years 2022-2031.
For the 2016 season, the Brewers payroll was roughly $64 million, and that is down from about $104 million in 2015.
While it may be a big burden for the Brewers to retain Braun considering how much of the payroll he takes up, I truly feel he has done a pretty good job of redeeming himself.
I think he can become the type of guy the Brewers can count on to put up good numbers and be a part of their future when they eventually get at least 90 wins again.