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Last Updated: March 6, 2020

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Should the Brewers spend over $200 Million on Yelich?

Introduction

According to sources over at the Athletic the Milwaukee Brewers and superstar outfielder Christian Yelich are close to finalizing a long term contract extension. This new deal for last year’s batting champion is reportedly going to run for the next 9 years and worth approximately $215 million. This contract extension will be the largest in franchise history, and it will tie Clayton Kershaw’s contract for the 16th largest in Major League Baseball history.

As of now the new agreement should keep Yelich in Milwaukee through the 2028 season while providing a mutual option for the 2029 Major League Baseball season. Although nothing is set in stone as of yet I have been told that this deal will get done and is expected to fairly soon.

New Contract Details

The perennial All Star’s previous contract that was signed with the Miami Marlins was for 7 years and valued at $49,570,000. Yelich would now make $12.5 million this upcoming MLB season and $14 million for the 2021 baseball season. Following that a new 7 year $190 million contract extension would begin.

Yelich’s Achievements, Awards, and Honors

Yelich is coming off 2 absolutely amazing seasons. In 2018, he was awarded the National League’s Most Valuable Player. He was on pace to possible win that prestigious award again last year until he broke his knee cap by fouling a pitch off of it on September 10th, 2019.

This injury ended his season, but he was still able to hit for a batting average of .329, hitting 44 home runs, 97 runs batting in, and an OPS of 1.100 over the course of the 130 games he played in throughout 2019. Those number were good enough to earn him his second consecutive National League batting title.

The 28 year old outfielder was a MLB All Star in 2018 and 2019. Yelich was named to the All MLB First Team in 2019 too. He won a Gold Glove Award in 2014 while with the Miami Marlins. He won the Silver Slugger Award three times (2016, 2018, 2019), the Hank Aaron Award twice as well (2018, 2019). He was also able to hit for the elusive cycle 2 times during his 2018 campaign.

Analysis of this Contract Extension

This new deal Yelich is about to sign later this week is a great deal for both sides. It allows the small market organization of the Milwaukee Brewers to keep one of the best if not the best major league ball players of this time right now as he has recently entered his prime, and they will have for a nice stretch of time.

If the Brewers had waited for him to enter free agency which would have occurred in a few years he would have the right to demand more money especially as big name players these days are getting $30 million or more even on long term deals. Players such as Mookie Betts, Garrett Cole, Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Anthony Rendon, Stephen Strasburg, and others have been getting somewhere around $300 million for approximately 10 seasons with their respective ball clubs.

The Milwaukee Brewers have been contenders recently and they should continue to be for the next several years if everything works out the way it should for them. They do have other key core players they will need to resign soon like their left handed closer Josh Hader, second baseman Keston Hiura, and right handed pitcher Brandon Woodruff. It is also a good thing that Ryan Bruan’s contract is coming off the books soon. In fact, it will expire before Yelich’s new contract extension even kicks in.

Yelich's Career Regular Season Batting Statistics

Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB Pos Awards
2013 21 MIA NL 62 273 240 34 69 12 1 4 16 10 0 31 66 0.288 0.37 0.396 0.766 112 95 4 1 0 1 1 8-Jul  
2014 22 MIA NL 144 660 582 94 165 30 6 9 54 21 7 70 137 0.284 0.362 0.402 0.764 115 234 9 3 3 2 3 *78 GG
2015 23 MIA NL 126 525 476 63 143 30 2 7 44 16 5 47 101 0.3 0.366 0.416 0.782 118 198 13 2 0 0 2 *78  
2016 24 MIA NL 155 659 578 78 172 38 3 21 98 9 4 72 138 0.298 0.376 0.483 0.859 135 279 20 4 0 5 4 *78/D MVP-19,SS
2017 25 MIA NL 156 695 602 100 170 36 2 18 81 16 2 80 137 0.282 0.369 0.439 0.807 120 264 13 6 0 6 4 *8  
2018 26 MIL NL 147 651 574 118 187 34 7 36 110 22 4 68 135 0.326 0.402 0.598 1 164 343 14 7 0 2 2 *798 AS,MVP-1,SS
2019 27 MIL NL 130 580 489 100 161 29 3 44 97 30 2 80 118 0.329 0.429 0.671 1.1 179 328 8 8 0 3 16 *9/7D8 AS,MVP-2,SS
7 Yrs       920 4043 3541 587 1067 209 24 139 500 124 24 448 832 0.301 0.383 0.492 0.874 137 1741 81 31 3 19 32    
162 Game Avg.       162 712 624 103 188 37 4 24 88 22 4 79 147 0.301 0.383 0.492 0.874 137 307 14 5 1 3 6    
MIA (5 yrs)       643 2812 2478 369 719 146 14 59 293 72 18 300 579 0.29 0.369 0.432 0.8 121 1070 59 16 3 14 14    
MIL (2 yrs)       277 1231 1063 218 348 63 10 80 207 52 6 148 253 0.327 0.415 0.631 1.046 171 671 22 15 0 5 18    

Yelich's Career Postseason Batting Statistics

Year Age Tm Lg Series Opp Rslt G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB WPA
2018 26 MIL NL NLDS COL W 3 14 8 4 2 0 0 1 2 2 0 6 0 0.25 0.571 0.625 1.196 5 0 0 0 0 0 0.41
2018 26 MIL NL NLCS LAD L 7 33 28 3 5 1 0 1 1 0 0 5 7 0.179 0.303 0.321 0.624 9 2 0 0 0 1 -0.48
1 Yr (2 Series)             10 47 36 7 7 1 0 2 3 2 0 11 7 0.194 0.383 0.389 0.772 14 2 0 0 0 1 -0.08
1 NLDS             3 14 8 4 2 0 0 1 2 2 0 6 0 0.25 0.571 0.625 1.196 5 0 0 0 0 0 0.41
1 NLCS             7 33 28 3 5 1 0 1 1 0 0 5 7 0.179 0.303 0.321 0.624 9 2 0 0 0 1 -0.48

Yelich's Career Regular Season Fielding Statistics

Year Age Tm Pos Lg G GS CG Inn Ch PO A E DP Fld% Rtot Rdrs Rtot/yr Rdrs/yr RF/9 RF/G lgFld% lgRF9 lgRFG Awards
2013 21 MIA OF NL 62 61 59 544.1 114 114 0 0 0 1 4 0 9 0 1.88 1.84 0.986 2.13 2.13  
2013 21 MIA LF NL 59 56 56 505.1 103 103 0 0 0 1 3 0 8 0 1.83 1.75 0.984 1.83 1.82  
2013 21 MIA CF NL 5 5 3 39 11 11 0 0 0 1 1 0 25 0 2.54 2.2 0.987 2.49 2.5  
2014 22 MIA OF NL 144 142 135 1258.2 279 271 6 2 1 0.993 7 9 7 8 1.98 1.92 0.985 2.12 2.11 GG
2014 22 MIA LF NL 138 133 129 1182 262 255 6 1 1 0.996 9 12 9 12 1.99 1.89 0.981 1.82 1.81 GG
2014 22 MIA CF NL 12 9 6 76.2 17 16 0 1 0 0.941 -3 -3 -47 -47 1.88 1.33 0.986 2.48 2.48 GG
2015 23 MIA OF NL 124 122 104 1069.1 264 256 6 2 1 0.992 3 7 3 7 2.21 2.11 0.986 2.07 2.06  
2015 23 MIA LF NL 103 86 85 786.2 189 182 5 2 0 0.989 10 12 15 18 2.14 1.82 0.986 1.79 1.78  
2015 23 MIA CF NL 36 36 19 282.2 75 74 1 0 1 1 -7 -5 -29 -21 2.39 2.08 0.989 2.41 2.39  
2016 24 MIA OF NL 149 149 143 1319 272 260 6 6 1 0.978 4 1 3 0 1.82 1.79 0.985 2.07 2.05 MVP-19,SS
2016 24 MIA LF NL 120 120 115 1061 200 192 5 3 1 0.985 1 2 1 2 1.67 1.64 0.981 1.8 1.79 MVP-19,SS
2016 24 MIA CF NL 31 29 28 258 72 68 1 3 0 0.958 3 -1 13 -5 2.41 2.23 0.989 2.39 2.38 MVP-19,SS
2016 24 MIA DH NL 1 1                                   MVP-19,SS
2017 25 MIA CF NL 155 155 150 1368.2 372 370 1 1 0 0.997 -7 -12 -6 -11 2.44 2.39 0.988 2.32 2.3  
2017 25 MIA OF NL 155 155 150 1368.2 372 370 1 1 0 0.997 -7 -12 -6 -10 2.44 2.39 0.985 2.03 2.01  
2018 26 MIL OF NL 145 143 97 1269 273 266 4 3 1 0.989 6 1 6 0 1.91 1.86 0.985 2.08 2.08 AS,MVP-1,SS
2018 26 MIL LF NL 90 63 52 596 113 109 3 1 0 0.991 0 0 1 0 1.69 1.24 0.986 1.85 1.85 AS,MVP-1,SS
2018 26 MIL RF NL 75 68 38 557.1 122 121 1 0 1 1 5 3 11 6 1.97 1.63 0.985 1.95 1.94 AS,MVP-1,SS
2018 26 MIL CF NL 20 12 7 115.2 38 36 0 2 0 0.947 1 -2 7 -21 2.8 1.8 0.985 2.45 2.44 AS,MVP-1,SS
2019 27 MIL OF NL 124 124 110 1093 236 225 7 4 2 0.983 5 -2 6 -2 1.91 1.87 0.984 2.04 2.02 AS,MVP-2 ,SS
2019 27 MIL RF NL 124 121 110 1061 229 218 7 4 2 0.983 3 -4 3 -5 1.91 1.81 0.983 1.98 1.97 AS,MVP-2,SS
2019 27 MIL LF NL 6 3 0 31 6 6 0 0 0 1 2 1 79 39 1.74 1 0.982 1.8 1.78 AS,MVP-2,SS
2019 27 MIL DH NL 2 2                                   AS,MVP-2,SS
2019 27 MIL CF NL 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 576 1200 9 1 0.99 2.7 2.3 AS,MVP-2,SS
7 Seasons     OF   903 896 798 7922 1810 1762 30 18 6 0.99 23 4 3 0 2.04 1.98 0.985 2.07 2.06  
6 Seasons     LF   516 461 437 4162 873 847 19 7 2 0.992 26 27 7 7 1.87 1.68 0.983 1.81 1.81  
7 Seasons     CF   260 246 213 2141.2 586 576 3 7 1 0.988 -12 -22 -7 -12 2.43 2.23 0.988 2.36 2.35  
2 Seasons     RF   199 189 148 1618.1 351 339 8 4 3 0.989 8 -1 6 0 1.93 1.74 0.984 1.97 1.96  
2 Seasons     DH   3 3                                    
7 Seasons     TOT   903 896 798 7922 1810 1762 30 18 6 0.99 23 4 3 0 2.04 1.98 0.985 2.07 2.06  
      Pos Lg G GS CG Inn Ch PO A E DP Fld% Rtot Rdrs Rtot/yr Rdrs/yr RF/9 RF/G lgFld% lgRF9 lgRFG Awards

Sources:

“Christian Yelich”, baseball-reference.com, March 4, 2020.

“Brewers, Christian Yelich near $215 million extension”, espn.com, March 4, 2020.

“Christian Yelich, Brewers close to long-term extension worth more than $200 million, report says: The Brewers are set to hand the 2018 NL MVP the largest contract in franchise history”, Mike Axisa, cbssports.com, March 4, 2020.


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