The Milwaukee Brewers are closing in on a game-changing extension with 2018 MVP outfielder Christian Yelich. The deal is reported to be a seven-year, $188.5 million contract extension that would run from 2022 all the way until 2028. Yelich has two years remaining on his current contract, which puts the total worth of the new contract at roughly $215 million. Brewers fans can rejoice, as the deal would keep Christian in Wisconsin until the age of 37, which most likely means he’ll be finishing his career as a Brewer.
During his time with the Miami Marlins, Yelich signed a seven-year, $49.57 million extension that eventually gave the Brewers five years of control when they traded for him in January of 2018. Many were unsure that Yelich would take a deal to stay with the Brewers, as most analysts predicted the superstar would choose to play in a big market upon his next deal. Yelich has mentioned in the past how much he loves Milwaukee and that he preferred to stay there as long as possible, and Brewers ownership had noted earlier this year that the club had it ‘at the top of their priority list’.
While Yelich’s deal became a steal as soon as he soared through his 2018 breakout MVP performance, it was backed up by an MVP runner-up performance in 2019 (he may also have won back-to-back MVPs if it wasn’t for a foul ball that fractured his knee cap near the end of the 2019 season). He has won the league batting title in both seasons with Milwaukee, becoming the first Brewers player to claim even one crown. In his two seasons with the Brewers, Yelich batted .327 with a .415 on-base percentage and .631 slugging percentage, with 80 home runs, 207 RBI and 52 stolen bases in 277 games.
— MLB (@MLB) March 3, 2020
Seen as one of the brighter stars in a dark league, signing Christian Yelich for practically the rest of his career makes Milwaukee (one of the leagues smallest markets) relevant for the next decade. The Brewers are locked in and plan to build around the 28-year old for the next several seasons of his prime I an effort to continue to contend for more than just the NL Central division.
In a recent offseason interview, Yelich spoke highly of the city of Milwaukee: “It’s a place that I’d really love to play for a long time. I genuinely mean that. I really enjoy this city and it’s somewhere that I’m very passionate about. It’s somewhere that, if I were to finish my career here, I would not mind that at all. My two years here have been special.”
After advancing to the playoffs for the second consecutive season, the Brewers trimmed their payroll from $125 million at the start of 2019 to about $95 million, causing considerable frustration across the state of Wisconsin. That angst likely would take a backseat with the monster deal announcement for Yelich. Teammate Ryan Braun’s deal is set to expire at the end of this season, as the Brewers fan favorite may or may not be considering retirement following the 2020 season. This may or may not be an opportunity for ownership to continue to build around Yelich for future seasons as they search for the next big stud to pair with their MVP.
The Milwaukee Brewers have their over/under of games won set at 83.5 in most places to start the year, are currently +350 to win the NL Central, and +1400 to make it to the World Series. This is quite a step down from the last two years of magic they’ve been able to create. If you think that Yelich is primed for another fantastic MVP type season, these may be a few numbers to jump on.