Ryan Braun Signing Good for Milwaukee Brewers and Good for Baseball

Orly Rios Jr.Analyst IIApril 24, 2011

Ryan Braun signed a 5-year extension to stay with Milwaukee through the 2020 season.
Ryan Braun signed a 5-year extension to stay with Milwaukee through the 2020 season.Greg Fiume/Getty Images

There use to be a time when superstars played their entire careers with one team, good or bad.

Robin Yount, George Brett, Dale Murphy, Ryne Sandberg, Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken Jr. come to mind from the 1980s and 1990s.

Today's generation has offered up the likes of Derek Jeter and Chipper Jones, few and far between.

Most small market ball clubs today often lose their superstars simply because the ballclub cannot afford to risk their entire salary on one player.

Often, teams will trade away their star for draft picks rather than lose them for nothing in the offseason.

The San Diego Padres for several years were known for Adrian Gonzalez and only Adrian Gonzalez.

Knowing that Gonzalez would never get paid the money he deserved, Gonzalez was traded to the Boston Red Sox in return for a group of solid young prospects.

On Thursday, Major League Baseball got a little bit of its past back when the Milwaukee Brewers signed Ryan Braun through the 2020 season, ensuring that Braun could finish his career with the only team he's ever known.

In four seasons in the majors, Braun has taken the league by storm. His list of accomplishments include being named the 2007 National League Rookie of the Year, being named to the All-Star team three times, and he is one of just five players in baseball history to hit 125 home runs and bat .300 over his first four seasons, joining the likes of Albert Pujols, Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio.

Back in May 2008, Braun signed a seven-year deal worth $45 million to keep him with the Brewers until 2015. Thursday's deal for an additional five years at $105 million keeps Braun with Milwaukee through 2020, and the Milwaukee crowd approves.

In his first plate appearance since signing his extension, Braun was greeted at the plate with a standing ovation.

And in a script best written for a Disney movie, Braun obliged the hometown crowd by crushing a three-run home run to left-center field.

In the end, the contract extension for Ryan Braun is not only good for Milwaukee, it's also good for baseball. A small-market ballclub keeps its star and for baseball purists, it's a good thing.