If there was anyone out there who still thought the Cardinals over-reached when they paid Matt Holliday $17 million a year over seven years, please consider the extension the Brewers passed out today to Ryan Braun.
The Milwaukee left fielder will get $21 million a year from 2015-2020. Braun was already under contract through 2014 thanks to a deal he signed in his second season in the majors that paid him $45 million. Braun is 27 years old. He'll be 37 when the new contract is up.
Braun is a .308 hitter who averages 25 homers and 108 RBIs per season while Holliday is a .319 career hitter who averages 26 homers and 101 RBIs a year.
I'm guessing the move was an olive branch to Brewers fans since the club seems certain to let Prince Fielder walk as a free agent at the end of the season. (Perhaps not unlike the Cardinals decision to sign Holliday in 2010 in anticipation that Albert Pujols might leave after this season.)
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Since he's hitting .359 with five homers so far this season, I think it's fair to say that Braun was able to negotiate an extension in-season without creating too much of a distraction.