There are whispers that the odds of seeing Ryan Braun in another MLB Jersey are decreasing.
Fangraphs goes into detail about it. While some of the reason could be concerns of declining performance and age, along with Braun no longer being a PED user which helped to inflate his numbers, Braun just isn’t expected to be productive enough around the league to justify the money he is making:
So, the Brewers have a decision to make. They could opt to carry Braun’s contract. It never exceeds $20 million, a decent chunk is deferred, and they have no other long-term obligations weighing them down. So it might not be a disaster. And there’s also the real possibility that the projections are too pessimistic. Consider: last year at this time, Braun’s projections looked a lot like this year’s projections do — despite the fact that he’d recorded a similar 130 wRC+ in 2015. Braun’s 2016 exceeded his projections; if he were to do the same thing this year, he’d be well on his way to producing nearly as much value as he’ll be paid for the rest of his deal. To break even, Braun would need to record about 7.5 WAR over the next four years, starting at about 2.5 WAR in 2017, losing half a win each year thereafter.
Braun finished 2016 with 30 homers, 90 RBI and a .305 average. He had a .903 OPS which will please any fantasy owner out there. He’s still a good guy to have in the trenches in that aspect. But in real baseball where the glove matters and the contract works to detract from his value; Braun is no longer a wanted commodity.
We still think a contender with a large payroll at some point decides to take on Braun with all his pock marks and add him to their lineup. he’s not finishing his career in Milwaukee.