MILWAUKEE -- Brandon Boggs' patience paid off Friday, when the outfielder arrived at Miller Park after a promotion from Triple-A Nashville.Somewhat ironically, Boggs took the roster spot vacated by outfielder Nyjer Morgan, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list late Thursday with a deep bruise in his right thigh. Less than a month ago, it was Morgan who took Boggs' spot after a late Spring Training trade from Washington to Milwaukee. After trading for Morgan on March 27, the Brewers informed Boggs he would not make the team and assigned him outright to Triple-A Nashville. Since it was the second such outright of Boggs' career, he had the right to refuse and test free agency, but he instead accepted and reported to the Minors. Now Boggs is back in the big leagues. "My agent [Miles Shoda] and I looked around, and this still seemed like the best situation," Boggs said. Boggs joins an outfield rotation that, besides left fielder Ryan Braun and center fielder Carlos Gomez, includes Mark Kotsay and Erick Almonte. Regular right fielder Corey Hart is rehabbing a rib-cage strain with Triple-A Nashville and is expected back next week.
Fielder ecstatic for Braun signing extension
MILWAUKEE -- Unless Prince Fielder is as good an actor as he is a hitter, he really was happy to hear about Ryan Braun's giant new contract.Braun on Thursday became the fourth of Fielder's Brewers teammates in 13 months to sign a big-money extension, inking a $105 million, five-year deal through 2020 on top of a contract already in place. Since the start of last season, the Brewers have also extended pitcher Yovani Gallardo (five years, $30.1 million), right fielder Corey Hart (three years, $26.5 million) and second baseman Rickie Weeks (four years, $38.5 million). "Oh, man, I'm ecstatic," Fielder said Friday afternoon. "I'm proud of Ryan. He's an unbelievable player, and now he's just super-rich. I'm happy for him." Fielder said the consensus that players are jealous when their peers sign big-money deals is flat wrong. "Not for me at least," he said. "The more money everybody else gets, that's more money for all the players. We're all in this together. You want every player to get his maximum." Fielder's own future in Milwaukee beyond this season is very much in question. Since he and the Brewers avoided arbitration with a $15.5 million deal for 2011, both sides have said that they would focus on Fielder having a "monster" year, to borrow general manager Doug Melvin's word, instead of focusing on what lies ahead. Fielder is a free agent this winter, and the Brewers have never gained much traction in talks with agent Scott Boras about an extension. Fielder insists he's focused only on 2011, and not what lies beyond. "The fact we're a good team helps, too, because there's more to talk about than just me," he said. "Today, it's all about Brauny. He's signed the ultra contract. It's a good day." Has Fielder thought at all about his big day coming? "No, I've already done that in years past," he said. "Now it's just play baseball time. I think my family, we'll be able to eat for a while anyway. We'll play baseball and see what happens. "If they have this much to spend, you never know. I hope they have a little left for me."
Braun places call to adoring Brewers fan
MILWAUKEE -- Too bad Robin didn't clear some of those prank voice mails, because Ryan Braun actually called."Robin" is the young lady who brought a sign to Miller Park Friday night demanding, "Marry me, Ryan." It came complete with her real cell phone number, and caught the all-seeing eyes of FS Wisconsin crew members, who put Robin on the air during the Brewers' blowout win over the Astros. Gutsy move, and it worked. Braun called after the game and got Robin's voice mail, which was unfortunately full. "I guess it wasn't meant to be," Braun said with a smile. Actually, Braun is taken, and his girlfriend was among the family and friends on hand Thursday when the All-Star outfielder signed his five-year contract extension through 2020. Braun cited the fan support he's received in Milwaukee since the Brewers made him a first-round Draft pick in 2005 as one reason he wanted to stay. That includes, of course, the support of young ladies trying to get hitched. They stood 31,907 strong on Friday night and gave Braun standing ovations before every at-bat. He delivered a go-ahead home run in the third inning, and considering he's under contract for the next 10 seasons, he could be hitting many more over the years at Miller Park. "It'll take a little while for me to really understand what that means or the significance of that," Braun said. "It's been a pretty crazy 24-48-hour period. I'm trying to enjoy it, trying to embrace it because it is a special time."
Brewers will pay Braun through 2031
MILWAUKEE -- Because of deferrals built into his new contract, Ryan Braun could be drawing paychecks from the Brewers until he's 47 years old.
According to the Associated Press, the five-year, $105 million extension Braun signed Thursday includes at least $18 million in interest-free deferrals to be paid in equal installments each July 1 from 2022-2031. The deferrals were key to the deal from both sides.
Braun's extension covers 2016-20 and includes salaries of $19 million from 2016-18, of which $4 million is deferred with no interest each season; $18 million in 2019, of which $3 million is deferred; and $16 million in 2020, of which $3 million is deferred.
The deal also includes a mutual option for 2021 that calls for a $15 million base salary that can escalate up to $20 million based on 2020 awards such as league MVP, Silver Slugger and Gold Glove. Any of those escalators would be deferred with no interest.
If the Brewers decline their half of the option, Braun would get a $4 million buyout. Also, Braun's $10 million signing bonus is payable in $2.5 million installments on each April 1 from 2012 through 2015.
Reliever Takashi Saito, on the disabled list with a left hamstring strain, threw a simulated game on Friday afternoon and will take part in a similar exercise Monday, manager Ron Roenicke said. At that point, the Brewers will decide whether to activate him or send him to pitch in the Minors. Corey Hart went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles for Triple-A Nashville on Friday and is scheduled to play seven innings Saturday, and it looks like the Brewers are targeting a Wednesday return to the Majors. Hart has been sidelined all spring by a left rib-cage strain. Brewers principal owner Mark Attanasio admitted to a scare Tuesday night, when he and his wife, Debbie, were attending a dinner in Los Angeles and the Brewers were playing in Philadelphia. The team and Ryan Braun had already essentially agreed to their mammoth contract extension when Braun was pulled from the game with the Brewers leading, 9-0. "I felt good about it, and then all of a sudden Debbie gets an e-mail, 'What's wrong with Ryan?'" Mark Attanasio said. It turned out manager Ron Roenicke simply wanted to give Braun a two-inning break in a blowout game.