In case you haven't already heard the news, the Detroit Tigers and slugger Miguel Cabrera agreed to a monster extension Thursday that could see the first baseman earn up to $352 million over the next 12 years.
Mike Trout still has yet to sign a new deal with the Angels. When he does, the guy might very well get $400 million at the rate things are going. One more huge year and it's all but certain he'll receive the biggest contract ever. Mike Trout is going to get a deal that will see him worth around 4/5 the value of the Tampa Bay Rays franchise.
Ryan Braun, who has won one MVP and is still one of the best players in the game and is still just 30 years old (one year younger than Cabrera) is locked into a contract with the Brewers for another seven years with an option for an eighth. If he plays all eight years, he'll make another $128 million.
This is the remainder of his contract breakdown:
2014: $10 million
2015: $12 million
2016: $19 million
2017: $19 million
2018: $19 million
2019: $18 million
2020: $16 million
2021: $15 million*
Miguel Cabrera's new deal will see him take home an average annual value of $31 million. Ryan Braun maxes out at $19 million, or $12 million lower than Cabrera's average.
Obviously Cabrera was never suspended for steroids and yada yada yada. But Cabrera's deal puts into perspective just how incredibly amazing Braun's contract looks. At the time he signed it, it was a huge deal. The Brewers still had him signed through 2016 (on an even better deal) anyway. Braun is, in essence, a Brewer for life. The only way he won't be is if the team trades him or if he signs somewhere else when he is 37 years old. Had the Brewers waited a few more years to sign him, there's pretty much no way they could have afforded him.
Here's the thing: Miguel Cabrera is probably better than Ryan Braun. Most people would say so, to be sure. At their respective contracts, though, which would you rather have? If I'm, say, the Dodgers and can afford to buy a small planet, I would likely say Cabrera. If I'm any team with any sort of reasonable payroll expectations? It might be tough, but I would have to go with Braun. The 2011 NL MVP is going to make less than half what the two-time reigning AL MVP will over the course of their contracts, and his deal won't look as bloated in the later years.
Every time these monster deals happen, it makes me appreciate Ryan Braun and his contract more and more. I love you Ryan Braun, and I don't care what anyone else says.
*Could be $20 million based on performance stuff