Evaluating the Braun Deal (UPDATED)

Today, Ryan Braun signed a 5 year extension to his current deal with the Brewers, which already ran to 2015. It covers the 2016-2020 seasons and there is a mutual option that could be worth up to $20 million for 2021, with a $4m buyout. My gut reaction is that it’s not a great deal for the Brewers, given his age during those 5 years. The Brewers are not a large market team so they have to take more calculated risks with their investments. Braun’s pricetag could be higher the closer he gets to free agency so if they believe that he’ll be a great player by 2016 they can try to lock him down early. This still feels like they jumped the gun about 3 years to early to me.

Let’s look at the extension covering his 2016 – 2021 seasons. As we’ve stressed before, it’s important to evaluate deals when they’re signed, not after the fact. Let’s work off his Oliver projection, which is handy because it provides an extended WAR forecast into 2017 that covers his peak. Oliver projects Braun’s true talent level as a .380 wOBA in 639 PAs and -2.6 in fielding. By 2016, when the new contract kicks in, he’s projected to decline to a .364 wOBA in 578 PAs with  -2.4 fielding. Still good numbers but not necessarily the greatest as a LF. Oliver pegs that at 2.1 WAR. And there’s still 5 more years! Let’s use this year’s roughly $4.3 $/WAR and let’s be nice to the Brewers and only add 5% inflation (EDIT – I am a moran, and lower inflation hurts the Brewers, not helps them. I recalculated with 10% inflation) to figure out what those future dollars are worth.

The Extension

Year Age Projected WAR Value Salary
2016 32 2.1 14.5 19
2017 33 1.7 11.8 19
2018 34 1.2 10.1 19
2019 35 0.7 6.5 18
2020 36 0.2 2.0 16
2021 37 0 0 4
TOTAL 5.9 44.9 95

Maybe Oliver is being a bit unfair to Braun, so let’s start his numbers off based on the Fangraph fans projection of 4.7 WAR in 2011, and use the same aging curve that Oliver used. Then we’ll have

2011: 4.7
2012: 4.9
2013: 4.7
2014: 4.3
2015: 3.9

Year Age Projected WAR Value Salary
2016 32 3.6 24.9 19
2017 33 3.1 23.6 19
2018 34 2.6 21.7 19
2019 35 2.1 19.4 18
2020 36 1.6 16.2 16
2021 37 1.1 12.3 20
TOTAL 14.1 118.1 111

We don’t have all the details on that last option year, but even if you exclude it and start with an optimistic projection for Braun *right now* it does not look like it will be good for the Brewers. Maybe they still see something all of us are missing. Okay, this looks a little better now


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69 thoughts on “Evaluating the Braun Deal (UPDATED)

  1. 3

    Doug Melivn has gutted his farm to make a run at the NL Central and now did this contract. Its a battle of wits between GM’s.

    Your move Hendry

  2. 5

    [quote name=mb21]Haven’t had RTFA yet, but did you include defense? What happens if you ignore it? How does that change the value?[/quote]
    It’s implicitly included in both of them. Oliver has Braun at a roughly -2 run fielder, which might be generous. For some reason it doesn’t regress that number though.

  3. 7

    The Fan projections had him at -8 which is closer to where I would probably put him. I’m basically just taking the aging curve from his Oliver projection and shifting it up.

  4. 8

    [quote name=GW]not to mention all the added value braun receives by staying in the midwest, where he can sell shitty tee shirts.[/quote]

    false. Mike Leake will steal them all

  5. 11

    my feelings on braun will always be tied to 07 when GM was telling us how Braun would be the greatest. He was half right- that bat is amazing but when the Brewers made him pretend to be a 3B it was pure comedy

  6. 12

    I don’t like the deal for the same reason I didn’t like signing Marmol to a 3-year extension. it was unnecessary. This is even more unnecessary.

    I think 5% inflation is probably a bit low. I’d go with 7-8% and I’d use a current win value higher than you are using. I thought Tango mentioned that it was closer to $4.8 after the offseason. I’ll look around later tonight, but that’s what I’d use.

  7. 13

    [quote name=bubblesdachimp]Do any of your stat fag #s account for inflation[/quote]
    Aye, I’m using 5% inflation (which could easily be too low) off of this year’s ~$4.3 $WAR number

  8. 14

    The Brewers consulted me before offering this contract. I told them Ryan Braun will age like Barry Bonds. Could you faget stats have predicted Deirdre Kresson case would rise from the red?

  9. 16

    [quote name=mb21]There’s also deferred money.[/quote]
    There’s a $10m signing bonus worked in there somewhere too.

  10. 18

    [quote name=dylanj]so how much did the cubs pay to eat silva’s contract now?[/quote]
    I think it was the sum of every dollar the Cubs have spent on payroll since 1978

  11. 19

    [quote name=bubblesdachimp]Bulls are infuriating[/quote]
    Absolutely. I share your concerns from the last thread too (about being swept). Right now they have to work out a scheme that isn’t necessarily pick and roll dependent. We are handing double teams to the Pacers.

    Also, Boozer’s hands might as well be baseball bats.

  12. 20

    [quote name=dylanj]so how much did the cubs pay to eat silva’s contract now?[/quote]
    Silva offered to eat his own contract as long as he had some coleslaw with it.

  13. 21

    So Braun is getting $145 million over the next 10 years. I started him at 4.3 WAR, dropped by .5 WAR each year, used $4.8 $WAR increased by 7.5% each year and I get $131 million. 10% discount gives you $118 million.

    Just making a few tweaks: increase inflation to 10%, 4.5 WAR in 2011, 4.3 WAR in 2012 and then -.5 WAR each year after you get this:

    Year $ WAR $WAR
    2011 4.80 4.5 21.60
    2012 5.28 4.3 22.70
    2013 5.81 3.8 22.07
    2014 6.39 3.3 21.08
    2015 7.03 2.8 19.68
    2016 7.73 2.3 17.78
    2017 8.50 1.8 15.31
    2018 9.35 1.3 12.16
    2019 10.29 0.8 8.23
    2020 11.32 0.3 3.40
    164.01
    149.10

    The Brewers appear to be thinking he won’t age as some have due to his athleticism, which may be true and they’re also thinking inflation will jump back to 10%.

    I’m not saying it’s a good deal, but I think we have to figure out what the Brewers were thinking first. Either that or they overrated him to start. I don’t know. Not a deal I’d have done. Not for at least 4 years.

  14. 22

    I’m pretty sure signing a player to an extension through 32-37 years of age has only been payroll efficient 0.0001% of the time.

  15. 24

    [quote name=Berselius]I’m a moron and got things backwards with inflation – higher inflation helps the Brewers.[/quote]I think it’s a terrible deal only in that it was not necessary. Overall i think the money is OK. I think Braun is probably a good bet to age well assuming he remains healthy and that he’s done in his career.

  16. 26

    [quote name=Mish]Absolutely. I share your concerns from the last thread too (about being swept). Right now they have to work out a scheme that isn’t necessarily pick and roll dependent. We are handing double teams to the Pacers.

    Also, Boozer’s hands might as well be baseball bats.[/quote][quote name=Mish]Absolutely. I share your concerns from the last thread too (about being swept). Right now they have to work out a scheme that isn’t necessarily pick and roll dependent. We are handing double teams to the Pacers.

    Also, Boozer’s hands might as well be baseball bats.[/quote]
    (dying laughing) that you tim? Just had the same convo with my cousin

  17. 29

    [quote name=bubblesdachimp]Refs ——> trying to force game 5

    Also b not trying to be politicL but I think your inflation # is low[/quote]
    I might be misreading your comment bubs but the inflation number is relative to the MLB free agent market, not necessarily the USD.

  18. 31

    I think 5% is reasonable. The league can’t expect to grow at 10% indefinitely. Revenue got a big boost with mlb.tv, pretty much every team has a newish stadium.

  19. 33

    [quote name=Cameron Smith]Pitching any no-hitter is an accomplishment. Doing what Elmont (N.Y.) High sophomore Danny Almonte did on Wednesday, on the other hand, is almost beyond belief.[/quote]
    .

  20. 34

    [quote name=Berselius]I might be misreading your comment bubs but the inflation number is relative to the MLB free agent market, not necessarily the USD.[/quote]
    You read it correct I am talking about the us economy printing so much money that inflation usa wide is double digits.

  21. 38

    [quote name=GW]I think 5% is reasonable. The league can’t expect to grow at 10% indefinitely. Revenue got a big boost with mlb.tv, pretty much every team has a newish stadium.[/quote]A couple GMs quoted by Stark or someone else on ESPN said they expected it to return to where it had been before.

    Keep in mind that MLB players make the smallest amount of total revenue in all four sports. That’s not going to stay like that forever. There’s still plenty of room for salaries to grow.

    Also, baseball is such a global sport now that I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect inflation to be double what it is here. MLB just signed deals to televise games in China and Vietnam.

    Any inflation rate below 7.5% is too low an estimate in my opinion. It may not reach 10% again, but I bet it’s fairly close. TV contracts are only going to become more valuable in the future as scripted programming costs entirely too much money for the networks. I expect MLB to get back on one of the networks on Monday night in the near future. I expect local contracts to go through the roof in much the same way college football and NFL tv contracts have done the same in recent years.

    I think there’s a lot more revenue to be had and I think we’ll see player salaries continue to rise at close to double the national average.

  22. 39

    Looks like McNutt’s start was about like Garza’s first few this season in terms of hits allowed. None left the park. A .444 babip in tonight’s game. He did give up 3 doubles so it looks he was hit as hard as Garza had been as well.

  23. 42

    [quote name=mb21]A couple GMs quoted by Stark or someone else on ESPN said they expected it to return to where it had been before.

    Keep in mind that MLB players make the smallest amount of total revenue in all four sports. That’s not going to stay like that forever. There’s still plenty of room for salaries to grow.

    Also, baseball is such a global sport now that I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect inflation to be double what it is here. MLB just signed deals to televise games in China and Vietnam.

    Any inflation rate below 7.5% is too low an estimate in my opinion. It may not reach 10% again, but I bet it’s fairly close. TV contracts are only going to become more valuable in the future as scripted programming costs entirely too much money for the networks. I expect MLB to get back on one of the networks on Monday night in the near future. I expect local contracts to go through the roof in much the same way college football and NFL tv contracts have done the same in recent years.

    I think there’s a lot more revenue to be had and I think we’ll see player salaries continue to rise at close to double the national average.[/quote]
    That bit about MLB salaries being the smallest percentage of revenue of any of the major sports surprises me. I would have expected it to be football. The perception must exist because there is more focus on the teams with high payrolls, but in reality there is such variance in payroll between teams.

  24. 44

    [quote name=dylanj]http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/insider/news/story?id=6404718&action=login&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fmlb%2finsider%2fnews%2fstory%3fid%3d6404718

    so the guy with the queer quasi papal outfit writes for ESPN now?[/quote]He’s been doing it for a bit now.

  25. 46

    [quote name=Aisle424]There is a hobbit sighting 4 blocks from my house. That is way too close for my comfort.[/quote]
    Hie they back to the Shire!

  26. 49

    [quote name=Mish]Absolutely. I share your concerns from the last thread too (about being swept). Right now they have to work out a scheme that isn’t necessarily pick and roll dependent. We are handing double teams to the Pacers.

    Also, Boozer’s hands might as well be baseball bats.[/quote]
    The Bulls haven’t looked great in these first 3 playoff games, but I hope you aren’t actually worried about being swept in the second round.

    The Magic don’t have the wing defenders that the Pacers do to throw at Rose. And I’m not sure why you think the Bulls are pick-n-roll dependent. They really haven’t been overly reliant on this season. They get plenty of baskets off isolation, spot-ups, and cuts.

    I have thought all season long that the Heat were going to be the biggest challenge in the playoffs, and I still feel that way. Bulls do match up pretty well with the Heat though.

  27. 50

    The Bulls also have a nasty tendency to play down to their competition.

    They lost to the Nets, the Clippers and two to the Bobcats that they had no business losing, plus they played other bad teams awfully close when they should have stomped them.

    Then they go and sweep that Heat, and win big games against the Celtics, Lakers, and Orlando down the stretch. I don’t think they get swept in any round. They can beat anyone, but they can lose to anyone too.

  28. 51

    [quote name=Aisle424]The Bulls also have a nasty tendency to play down to their competition.

    They lost to the Nets, the Clippers and two to the Bobcats that they had no business losing, plus they played other bad teams awfully close when they should have stomped them.

    Then they go and sweep that Heat, and win big games against the Celtics, Lakers, and Orlando down the stretch. I don’t think they get swept in any round. They can beat anyone, but they can lose to anyone too.[/quote]
    Also lost to the Raptors too. Pacers are also much better than their final record. After their coaching change they changed their rotations and have been an above .500 team.

    Also they are kind of a tough matchup for the Bulls with a bunch of long wing defenders to throw at Rose, a pick-n-pop forward (Hansbrough) and a point guard that they use to run Rose off a ton of screens. Add in a couple of goons, and I’m ok with an ugly 3-0 series lead.

  29. 54

    [quote name=Rice Cube]Roy Oswalt has a no-hitter through 3 IP.

    /jinx’d[/quote]
    If I had children they would call you a fun-sucker.

  30. 55

    [quote name=melissa]If I had children they would call you a fun-sucker.[/quote]
    My kid already calls me a fun-sucker.

  31. 57

    Jay Jackson returned to AAA tonight for his first W of the season. How many starts before he gets a majors nod?

  32. 58

    [quote name=fight2win]Jay Jackson returned to AAA tonight for his first W of the season. How many starts before he gets a majors nod?[/quote]
    It’ll take them another two starts to realize James Russell sucks, so maybe after that.

  33. 59

    [quote name=Aisle424]Luongo —-> broken

    It’s officially official.[/quote]
    I had that series written off on Monday. What a difference a couple of days makes. Game 6 should be a wild atmosphere.

  34. 62

    No more no-hitter. Which doesn’t really matter because Oswalt is having a Harden-esque pitch count at the moment.

  35. 63

    [quote name=Rice Cube]No more no-hitter. Which doesn’t really matter because Oswalt is having a Harden-esque pitch count at the moment.[/quote]
    This once again proves that I’ve seen numerous no-hitters jinxed by blog comments.

  36. 64

    [quote name=melissa]This once again proves that I’ve seen numerous no-hitters jinxed by blog comments.[/quote]
    Fun-sucker.

  37. 67

    the way I look at it is this: Braun was underpaid since he came up just like Pujols was.

    Braun will overall make $150M over 14-15 years (assuming they buy him out instead of picking up the option on the last year) which averages out to be $10-11M/yr over that span. MIL had to do something. They won’t sign Fielder. Can’t afford both. I dunno. They are just gambling that he’ll age well and they need somebody to sell tix. It’s not that terrible, imo, you stat fagets (dying laughing)

  38. 68

    and I realize he’ll be a big part of their payroll going forward, $18M per, not $11M or whatever. I still think they had to do it. He can switch to 1B after Fielder leaves if they want.

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