Braun deal a mistake

The Brewers left fielder is a star, but the club already had him locked up for his prime

Updated: April 21, 2011, 7:39 PM ET
By Dan Szymborski | Baseball Think Factory
Ryan BraunKirby Lee/US PresswireBy the time his new contract kicks in, Ryan Braun's best years will be behind him.

In a surprise move, the Milwaukee Brewers signed Ryan Braun to a five-year extension of his current contract, keeping him in town through age 36 at an additional cost of $105 million.

If anything, Braun's extension seals the deal on Prince Fielder's departure at the end of the season. The Brewers, while a much more successful franchise than during the years Bud Selig owned the team, are unlikely to want to commit nearly $50 million a year for two players for half a decade, years ahead of time.

The Brewers made the right decision in choosing Braun over Fielder. While Fielder's one of the most feared sluggers in baseball, it's hard to see a player with his frame aging gracefully in his 30s.

However, the Brewers probably made a mistake here as this wasn't a contract that the team needed to sign. It does tell the fan base that the team's not going to give up on signing its own players, but a nine-figure commitment is a pricy way to do this.