After the 2020 season ended, so did the contract of Ryan Braun. Braun, the Brewers’ all-time leader in home runs, went into the offseason contemplating whether or not he wanted to play again in 2021. And fans waited. And waited.
Rumors abounded. Braun’s wife posted farewell photos to Milwaukee on social media. He reportedly sold his lake house in Pewaukee, Wisconsin. Yet, many held out hope that the one-time face of the franchise would return.
Their hopes were not to come true, however. As the Brewers entered Spring Training, they were without Ryan Braun for the first time in almost 20 years. It was somewhat surreal, especially since he never got the farewell tour that a player of his caliber and importance deserves.
However, a recent podcast hosted by a former player revealed that Braun may not be done yet:
@trevorplouffe on his show today speaking of conversation with Ryan Braun: “Ryan is thinking he can come back in July. He doesn’t want to play until then but he can be an addition for them, pretty much the only team he’d play for.” @1250AMTheFan @WinksThinks @SparkyRadio
— Brewers Fever (@Brewers_Fever) March 4, 2021
Breaking Down the Braun Comments
The fact of the matter is that after the 2020 season, Ryan Braun was banged up. His body does not recover as quickly as it used to and he was not sure he wanted to put it through the rigors of a full season. If he were to come back in July, he would play for three months, minimum. Hopefully, four months to include a playoff run.
In terms of his desire not to play until then, who can blame him? He has given so much to the franchise and his body needs the extra time to recover. Perhaps of upmost importance to Brewers’ fans, though, is the last part of that comment: “pretty much the only team he’d play for.”
On March 15, Braun visited the radio booth with Brewers’ owner Mark Attanasio. In an interview with Bob Uecker, Braun said he might be open to a late season comeback.
Ryan Braun to Uke: "I guess with retirement you can always push back that decision, and I'm not at a place where I'm ready to fully retire yet. So I'll continue to stay in shape so you can see what the future holds."
— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) March 15, 2021
Simply put, if Ryan Braun plays baseball in 2021, it will be for the Milwaukee Brewers. Where will he play? The Brewers have four starter-quality outfielders and Braun cannot really play infield. That’s a bridge they will cross when they come to it. If Ryan Braun wants to come back, the Brewers will almost assuredly welcome him back with open arms.