Thanks to a contract signed back in March 2015, Milwaukee Brewers star outfielder Christian Yelich was able to gain long-term clarity about his salary, rather than deal with going through multiple years of arbitration.
It is not uncommon to see many players choose this route earlier on in their careers, as current Brewers teammate Ryan Braun did the same thing in 2008, when he signed a eight-year, $45 million contract, therefore buying out all of his arbitration-elgible years. It creates a security that’s importance cannot be expressed enough for MLB players.
In-wake of players like Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Nolan Arenado, and Manny Machado receiving massive new contracts, Yelich, who was named the MVP of the National League last season, was asked today by assembled media at Milwaukee’s spring training complex about what he thinks about the current state of his seven-year, $49 million contract he uses hindsight and sees the new deals players of his caliber are earning:
“It’s a decision I made a few years back,” Yelich said when discussing his contract, per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I made it for certain reasons, and figured at the end of the day, everything will end up working itself out. That will take care of itself over time.”
This season, Yelich will earn $9.75 million, and then see his salary increase to $12.5 million in 2020. The base salary will once again increase in 2021 when Yelich will make $14 million, and there is a club option worth $15 million in the contract for the 2022 season. If the Brewers had to make a decision on that option today, they would surely exercise it. But could they retain Yelich even longer beyond the 2022 season? It appears he is open to talking an extension with the club:
“Obviously, you’d hope so,” Yelich said when asked about a possible contract extension. “That’s the goal. I love it here. We’ll see how it plays out.”
As of today, the Brewers and Yelich haven’t had any official talks about extension, as it is something the club likely isn’t going to strongly consider until a couple more years down the line. It also remains to be seen what type of contract the Brewers would offer up to Yelich. In April 2011, the Brewers gave a five-year, $105 million extension to Braun, which is still till this day the largest contract in franchise history. Expectations wise, Yelich should surpass that if he does one day ink an extension with Milwaukee.
In his 2018 MVP season, Yelich batted .326/.402/.598 with 36 home runs, 110 runs batted in, and 22 stolen bases across 651 plate appearances and 147 games.
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