2020 is the last guaranteed year Ryan Brauncontract and the longtime Brewers slugger suggested in January last year that he could potentially retire at the end of the season. However, in comments today to Milwaukee Journal Sentinels Todd Rosiak and other reporters Braun said “I feel that I am more likely to play another year than I expected a few months back“.
Both the shorter schedule of 60 games and the ability to act as a designated hitter contribute to Braun’s way of thinking. “For me personally, playing a smaller number of games is something that is advantageous, Sa Braun, and “where i am in my career it is very appealing to me to have the opportunity to DH for a decent proportion of my bats“. Although no decision has been made on whether DH will remain in the National League beyond the 2020 season, it has been speculated in many cases that MLB could adopt DH over both leagues in 2021
A universal DH would obviously be a boon for older players like Braun, who turns 37 in November. Braun has been an outfielder for much of her career and has lost much of her time to the injured list due to back and leg injuries and was originally scheduled for the first time on the base (as well as a time in the outfield) for the Brew Crew when the 2020 season was expected to continue according to schedule.
Now Braun is projecting to get the majority of Milwaukee’s DH bats, which may lead to a powerful wave. While Braun’s injuries have somewhat limited his output over the past three seasons, he has still been a hit above average (111 wRC +, 112 OPS +) over 1380 PA from 2017-19, hitting .270 / .331 / .488 with 59 home runs.
Of course, if Braun wants to play next year, the next obstacle may be finding a team. Braun and the Brewers share a $ 15MM mutual option on his 2021 services and, like most mutual alternatives, is a near-certainty to be denied. While the Brewers don’t want Braun to have a $ 15MM price tag, Rosiak notes, however, that the two sides could work on a cheaper one-year contract for Braun to return to its 15th Major League season. The X factor is the complete unknown that is the free agent class 2020-21, as it remains to be seen how teams will work in the wake of a season that saw such a huge drop in revenue, and whether non-superstar free agents will see a real contract pressure.