Christian Yelich is now officially under contract with the Milwaukee Brewers for the next 9 years, and we’re hearing what he has to say about his decision to stay and how it all came together for the first time.
At the press conference to announce the signing, we learned it was Yelich himself who first brought up the topic of starting extension talks with owner Mark Attanasio, who then had his first meeting about a possible deal with Yelich’s agent way back on October 31st.
”It was a unique process, it was interesting at times, and I’m really glad that I’m able to spend the forseeable future here, the rest of my career as a Milwaukee Brewer,” Yelich said during his opening statement. “I’ve only been here for two years, but it’s felt like a lot longer. Ever since I came here it felt like a natural fit.”
”As a player, that’s what you want, a chance to win, something that feels organic, and it felt right to me. And I didn’t really have aspirations to play anywhere else, and fortunately we were able to work that out where we don’t have to worry about that anymore.”
While the final total of the contract could end up surpassing what he paid to buy the entire team back in 2005, Attanasio made it sound like he had no problem with the price tag.
”I always feel I’m a fan first, and what fan wouldn’t want to come up with a way to keep Christian here for his career?” said Attanasio. “I was terribly excited about this and just delighted that he continued to want to work with us on it as we faced some structural challenges, but Christian and his team really worked with us so we could keep him part of our organization for what we hope is his entire career.”
Asked whether he thought he was taking less money to stay with the Brewers, Yelich said he didn’t really think of it that way.
Yelich says he doesn't feel like he took a hometown discount. "People are going to ask the what ifs, but I play the game to win, and to be a part of a place where I feel comfortable and feel pride in representing and that's how I made this decision."— Jaymes L (@JaymesL) March 6, 2020
In a similar vein, Yelich says he never considered asking for an early opt-out, like some of his other peers have received in these types of longterm extensions.
The sides never even discussed an opt-out in these contract talks, Christian Yelich said. "I didn't care about it, because I wanted to be here for the long haul. I'm not sure that's a great answer, but it's the truth."— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) March 6, 2020
Yelich on not asking for any early opt-outs in his new contract: "I didn't want to go into something like this just to leave it."— Jaymes L (@JaymesL) March 6, 2020
It’s easy to be cynical when an athlete says they love the city and situation they’re in because things can change so quickly, but with Yelich, it felt genuine — especially as he got choked up talking about the people who helped him get to this point.
You can watch the entire press conference here, or in the video embedded below.
Join us now for a special press conference live from American Family Fields of Phoenix.Posted by Milwaukee Brewers on Friday, March 6, 2020
Yelich will be in the lineup for the first time this spring this afternoon, when he serves as the first DH against the San Francisco Giants.