The Milwaukee Brewers signed starting pitcher Freddy Peralta to a very team friendly extension last year. Today, they have done the same with Aaron Ashby. The Brewers announced on Twitter that Ashby had signed a five-year contract with club options in 2028 and 2029.
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) July 23, 2022
The actual money/guaranteed money details of the deal are not known at this time. However, Peralta signed a five-year $15.5 million contract.
The Contract Eliminates Aaron Ashby’s Arbitration Years
According to Spotrac, Aaron Ashby is making $704,000 with the Brewers this season. 2023 and 2024 were considered team control years. 2025-2027 were arbitration seasons with Ashby reaching free agency in 2028. The five-year deal, as mentioned, will go from 2023-2027 and give the Brewers team options for the next two seasons. If the Brewers exercise those options, Ashby will not hit free agency until 2030.
The Brewers Need to Make More Moves Like This One
The Milwaukee Brewers need to lock in talent like Ashby and Peralta early for an affordable price. Mark Attanasio will never be a big spender. The Brewers are already listening to offers for closer Josh Hader, who will be a free agent after the 2023 season. It is a foregone conclusion that the Brewers will not be able (or willing) to meet his price.
A similar fate could await one (or both) of Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff. Both pitchers are multiple-time All-Stars while Burnes is the reigning Cy Young Award winner. Burnes is currently playing on a $6.5 million deal in this, his first arbitration season. He has two more arbitration years left before he hits free agency in 2025. Woodruff, meanwhile, is playing on a $6.8 million deal also in his first season of arbitration. He too will be a free agent in 2025.
Do the Brewers Have any Hope of Signing Corbin Burnes and/or Brandon Woodruff?
As one can see, the Brewers are looking at the possibility of losing their top two starting pitchers at the end of the 2024 season. Of course, the Brewers would love to extend both of them. However, how much would that cost? Reviewing the Brew estimated that Woodruff would fetch $10 million per year on a five-year contract while Burnes would make $12 million per season on a five-year deal.
These would be EXTREMELY team friendly, given the amount of money top pitchers are making around Major League Baseball. Jacon DeGrom, a two-time Cy Young winner, is making over $30 million per year for the New York Mets. After winning a Cy Young with the Chicago Cubs, Jake Arrieta signed a three-year $75 million with the Phillies. Based on these numbers, Burnes could be looking at making $25-$30 million or more per season. It is hard to see Mark Attanasio shelling out that kind of money.
As for Woodruff, the $10 million per year is right around what he might make on the open market anyway. It is far more likely that the team agrees with Woodruff than it is Burnes.
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