I did not see this coming. I mean, obviously Christian Yelich is a guy you’d extremely want to extend, but I just didn’t see the Brewers going to this level.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) March 3, 2020
As Rosenthal reports, the deal is expected to be for seven years, which means Yelich is going to be getting more than $30 million per year. Obviously his performance the last couple years merits that price tag.
… that said, the 28-year-old was already under team control for three more affordable seasons, so there is some measure of risk here in extending him so far out from when he was able to depart. Most likely, the Brewers are buying out Yelich’s age 31-34 seasons at a premium price three years in advance, while also giving him a salary bump in the meantime. (It’s also *possible* this is a seven-year deal that kicks in AFTER the team control, but I’d be shocked if the Brewers were giving Yelich $30M per year for his age 31-37 seasons three years in advance. We’ll see.)
This will take some time to digest, because it’s a monster deal in a unique situation. And there are still some details shaking out. It sure will be fun when the Cubs sign a monster extension …
UPDATE: Oh my. The implication here from Jeff Passan is that the seven-year extension doesn’t kick in right away:
Superstar outfielder Christian Yelich and the Milwaukee Brewers are deep into discussions on a contract extension expected to run nine or more years and be worth well over $200 million, sources tell ESPN. Both sides believe a deal will get done. First reported: @Ken_Rosenthal.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 3, 2020
I know he’s a superstar. I am not taking a shot at Yelich here. But I really don’t understand why you would sign him for six or seven years right now to kick in AFTER the three years of cheap control you already have in his prime. The upside here is really limited for the Brewers, and the downside is something we’ve seen time and time again when smaller-market clubs sign these kinds of deals far in advance of free agency.
UPDATE 2: So it’s going to be nine years total (six “new” years added to team control):
Hear when concluded that the next two years on Yelich deal will stay the same $12.5 million this season and $14 million next. But the $15M 2022 option will be torn up and 7 yrs added for a total of 9 yrs in the $215M range
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) March 3, 2020
Maybe it’ll be great for them. But it sure feels like the Evan Longoria extension all over again. Can’t wait for Yelich to be on the trade market in a salary dump in two years …
UPDATE 3: Deferrals will lower the overall value:
Look for Yelich's details to have deferrals. #Brewers did it with Braun and Cain to spread out their deals.
— Tom (@Haudricourt) March 3, 2020