What To Do With Ryan Braun

Ryan Braun has gotten off to a hot start in 2016. After three years of dealing with nagging injuries and a suspension for PED use, he is finally returning to his All-Star form. With Braun’s resurgence comes a difficult decision for the Brewers. What should the Brewers do with Braun?

Trade Braun

The Brewers are in full rebuild mode. They have traded away veterans for prospects in order to build a team that can compete for many years to come. So where does Braun fit in this plan? He is under contract until 2020 with a club option for 2021 at a very reasonable price by today’s standards.

Braun is currently fourth in the National League with a .367 average, has 7 home runs and 28 RBI. He is on a tear and it is reasonable to expect that he will continue to produce at the plate for the rest of the season. There will be plenty of teams looking for that kind of production between now and the trade deadline. It is quite possible that one of those teams will be willing to give up some top-level prospects in exchange for Braun.

Last year at the trade deadline, the Brewers traded Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers for outfield prospects Domingo Santana and Brett Phillips and pitching prospects Josh Hader and Adrian Houser. It is conceivable that Braun could fetch an even bigger haul this year, which would add valuable pieces to the rebuilding process. The outfield could become pretty crowded in the next couple of years, which would make Braun somewhat expendable.

Keep Braun

On the other hand, the Brewers could hold on to Braun as a veteran to build around, somebody that the young players can look up to and learn from. Even though the outfield will be crowded in the near future, there could still be a place for Braun in this rebuild, as the Brewers are lacking in first base prospects. Braun does have infield experience, having come up as a third baseman, and could do well at first.

For the most part, Brewer fans have forgiven Braun for his PED use and all of the ugliness that followed. He was drafted by the Brewers and when he signed his extension, he planned on retiring as a member of the Brewers.

Braun is among the leaders in Brewer history in several categories. He has the most home runs with 262 and counting, is just one run behind Cecil Cooper for third in runs scored, fourth in doubles, fifth in hits, third in RBI, and second in batting average. He is just 38 home runs away from being the first to ever hit 300 as a Brewer. If he plays out his contract in a Milwaukee uniform, it is conceivable that he could be on top of all of those categories.

Tough Choice

Brewer general manager David Stearns does have a tough decision to make, but he stands to win no matter which way he goes, as long as he does not drop his asking price. If a team is willing to give up some top-level prospects, the Brewers will add to their already improved farm system. If they keep Braun, they have a solid run producer and Brewer icon leading a young team into contention.

So what do you think? Should the Brewers trade Braun for a stable of prospects, or should they keep him as a veteran leader in a young clubhouse? Let me know in the comments.

2 thoughts on “What To Do With Ryan Braun”

  1. Really have to question Braun’s value in terms of “veteran leadership”. That PED thing would have long been water under the dam had he not lied. Pete Rose might be in the HOF if he hadn’t lied. Raphael Palmero might be talked about as one of the best hitters of all time had he not lied. The list goes on and on.

    One day, people who choose to lie in an attempt to cover up their misdeeds are going to learn a valuable lesson; “It’s not the sin that annoys people, it’s lying about the sin that really pi**es them off!”.

    I say, trade Braun and bring on a few more Josh Haders and Brett Phillips of the world. I want to win a pennant and could care less about who tops the Brewers all-time leader board in the various categories.

    Regards,

    Lou
    “Lonely Brewers Fan Stuck In Philly!”

    1. Lou,

      Thank you for your insight. I agree that the worst part of the whole PED mess is how he handled it when the news first broke. However, it is in the past, he has served his suspension, and he is back to playing at an MVP-like caliber. His integrity has been, perhaps, permanently tarnished, but his baseball skills are still there, and many in Milwaukee have forgiven him.

      I would not mind a trade that brought in at least what we got for Gomez and Fiers last season. We could definitely be a better team in a few years if that happened. However, I am not for shipping him off just to ship him off. I believe that David Stearns has an asking price, and if that is met, the Brewers will be better off.

      And finally, I feel for you being a Lonely Brewers Fan Stuck in Philly. I am currently in North-Central Florida, and there are very few baseball fans, much less Brewer fans. Know that even though you are physically removed from other Brewer fans, you are still a part of one of the most loyal fan bases in baseball. If you are on Facebook, I recommend joining the Diehard Milwaukee Brewers Fans group.

      -DJ

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