Christian Yelich and the Brewers finalize contract extension.
Christian Yelich was a solid hitter in terms of batting average in his first two Major League seasons with the Marlins, but supplied little power. He showed significantly improved power production in 2016-2017 hitting 39 home runs combined with 177 RBI. Yelich exploded to an MVP season in 2018, hitting .326 with 36 home runs, 110 RBI. Despite his season cut short last year due to fractured kneecap, Yelich hit a career-high 44 home runs while leading the league in average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
The Brewers already had Yelich locked up for $26.5 million combined this season and next with a $15 million option and $1.25 million buyout for 2022. The new deal puts Yelich into the upper echelon in salary. On March 3, an initial report by Ken Roesnthal was that the Brewers were expected to extend Yelich to a seven-year $200 million contract. Another report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan indicated the deal could be nine-plus years. A short time later in the middle of the afternoon, reports were that the deal would be around $215 million for nine years with a two-way option for a tenth season. At 28-years old that would make Yelich 38 by the end of the contact.
After much talk about the extension, a deal was finalized according to Bob Nightengale, which an official press conference today. According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, Yelich’s deal will worth an extra $188.5 million evenly spread over a seven-year span from 2022-2028. The deal will top the $200 million mark if the Brewers exercise an option for an eighth season.
Examining the deal, you can look at those from Bryce Harper and Mike Trout. Harper signed last season with the Phillies for $330 million over 13 seasons, contract ending when Harper turns 39. Mike Trout, arguably the best player in the game signed with the Angels for $360 million over 10 years. Yelich has clearly become a great player, but doesn’t have the track record yet of Harper and clearly not of Trout. The deal for Yelich falls short in terms of years and money, but puts him among the highest paid in baseball and should secure his time in Milwaukee for the vast majority of the rest of his career.