After a quiet offseason in which fans questioned the intentions of a mid-market franchise trying to sustain a level of competition that was relatively unprecedented for them in recent MLB history, the Milwaukee Brewers are finally making a statement.
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Brewers are nearing a huge deal with superstar outfielder Christian Yelich that should land upwards of $200 million.
Rumors have placed the deal at either eight or nine years, in the upper echelon of monetary value no matter the years.
In one of the more lopsided trades in recent MLB history, the Brewers acquired Yelich in the 2017 offseason from the Miami Marlins. Since then, Yelich has finished top-two in the NL MVP voting in back-to-back seasons, and won the award in 2018, his first season in Milwaukee. Just last season, Yeli and Dodgers star Cody Bellinger were neck-and-neck for the award until Yelich suffered a season-ending injury, all but eliminating him from competition. Despite all of this, he still finished the 2019 season with a .329 batting average paired with 44 home runs and 97 RBI.
The new deal, when completed, will put Yelich among the highest-paid hitters in MLB at $35 million per season, well within the range of Mike Trout ($35.5 million AAV) and Anthony Rendon ($35 million AAV). As the face of the franchise and arguably the best pure hitter in baseball, it's hard to poke holes in the Brew Crew's long-term thinking here.