Ryan Braun will enter the first year of a five-year $105 million extension that he signed with the Brewers back in 2011, and his manager Craig Counsell confirmed earlier today that Braun will return to a very similar spot on defense:
#Brewers manager Craig Counsell makes it official: Ryan Braun will move back to LF this year. Domingo Santana in RF.
— Tom (@Haudricourt) February 21, 2016
Braun was the Brewers primary left fielder from 2008-2013. He was moved to right at the start of the 2014 season to open a spot for Khris Davis, who is not a very good defender to start in left. With Davis being traded to Oakland earlier this month, it seemed like Braun would eventually return to his roots.
With Braun moving back to left, Domingo Santana, a power hitting 23-year-old outfielder will be the Brewers right fielder for 2016. He was acquired by the Brewers in the Carlos Gomez trade back in July.
“With the players we have on our roster this year, it’s an advantageous decision for both Ryan and the other players involved, specifically Domingo in right field,” said Counsell.
“I think you put the players where you think they fit best. I think both of them factor in to making the decision.”
Counsell said he also called the 32-year-old Braun to discuss the move.
“Ryan has played left field a bunch,” said Counsell. “He became a very good left fielder. It’s the position he has played the longest.
“We’ve had a conversation about it from time to time. He’s always open to doing what’s best, how our personnel fits. That’s how we treated it and he was very open to it.”
Braun has played 817 career games in left and 264 in right field with one game played in center. Santana has played 589 career games in right when you combine MiLB and MLB, so this move works out great for both of them.
Rymer Liriano, Keon Broxton, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, and Eric Young Jr. are all candidates to win the Brewers center field job.
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