Another notable option decline tonight, though this one was more or less expected. The Brewers have decided to pay long-timer Ryan Braun a $4 million buyout rather than pick up his $15 million option, per MLBTR/MLBPA.
Braun, who’ll be 37 next year, posted a 99 wRC+ in 2020, his first below-average offensive season ever. He’s been in a fairly steady decline over the last five years, and with his extreme defensive limitations, it’s not clear what opportunities will be out there for him. A very cheap reunion with the Brewers may be his best bet. Given the state of things, it’s possible he might even have to accept a non-guaranteed minor league deal to continue his career.
If he goes elsewhere, and if guys like Yadi Molina and Adam Wainwright also leave the NL Central, that’s gonna be really weird. Braun has been with the Brewers – and has been tormenting the Cubs – for 14 years now.