How long will the Milwaukee Brewers continue to hold onto Ryan Braun? The 33-year-old All-Star outfielder has been rumored to be on the trading block since last season, when the team engaged in serious discussions with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
No deal emerged at that time, or in the offseason, and Braun remained a member of the Brewers entering 2017. But with the team rebuilding, and Braun’s contract putting a strain on the minuscule payroll, he remains the perfect trade candidate.
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Those plans hit a bit of a bump in the road on Friday, as Braun hit the disabled list with a calf injury. While that would normally be concerning, Braun’s veteran status proposed an even bigger issue that could have made him much more difficult to trade once he was deemed healthy.
On Sunday, Braun will earn his 10-and-5 rights, meaning he’ll be eligible to veto any trade. While this development could have been a significant roadblock in the team’s attempt to move the outfielder, Braun told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel his new veto power won’t impact his situation. Once he’s healthy, the team can continue shopping him as they’ve done the past few months.
Though Braun isn’t going anywhere for the time being, the Brewers will get a sneak peek at what their offense will look like without him during Saturday’s Free MLB Game of the Day. The Eric Thames-led Brewers will take on Robert Gsellman and the New York Mets. The contest, which starts at 7:10 p.m. ET, can be streamed on our MLB page, the Free Game of the Day tab or this very post. Local blackouts apply, per MLB rules.
Braun’s decree that things won’t change does come with a bit of a catch, though. But first, it’s important to understand 10-and-5 rights.
A player is eligible for 10-and-5 rights once they reach 10 years in the majors, and have spent the last five with the same team. If the player meets both of those conditions, they receive full no-trade protection. Braun will reach 10 years in the majors Sunday, May 14. He’s spent his entire career with the Brewers.
When Braun says his situation won’t change, that doesn’t mean he’ll accept a trade to any old team. As part of Braun’s contract extension, he received no-trade protection that allowed him to veto deals to all but six teams.
Those six teams were revealed last year. They included the Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels, San Francisco Giants, San Diego Padres, Arizona Diamondbacks and Miami Marlins. Braun told Haudricourt he made one change to that list during the offseason, but didn’t specify. Braun lives in California, so Haudricourt speculates all the teams in the state should still be in play.
Braun will accept a trade, but only if it’s to one of the five clubs above, plus the unknown team he changed this winter. That’s the catch. His 10-and-5 rights won’t change the situation, but the Brewers still have to work with a limited market.
In some ways, maybe that’s a good thing. The Dodgers work as a logical partner for a number of reasons. They can afford Braun, need someone who hits lefties well and just lost one of their outfielders to a season-ending injury.
On the surface, Braun’s no-trade protection looks limiting. In this case, his small list could be the thing that propels both sides to come together sooner.
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