MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday declined to exercise a $15 million mutual 2021 option on veteran outfielder Ryan Braun as the franchise’s career home run leader ponders whether to continue playing.
Braun is due a $4 million buyout and is a free agent.
The 37-year-old often said this year that this might be his final season. He has spent his entire career in Milwaukee and has a franchise-record 352 career home runs.
“I’ll take my time in making a decision,” Braun said in mid-September. “I’ll sit down with my family and see where we’re at in a couple of months. It’s not a decision that I anticipate making right away. I’ll take some time to see where I’m at physically, see where things stand baseball-specifically and in the world at large before I make a decision about that.”
Braun batted a career-low .233 with seven home runs and 27 RBIs in 39 games this season while working through a back issue, though his .958 OPS in September helped the Brewers earn a third straight playoff berth. The back problem prevented him from playing the final game of the NL wild card series loss to the eventual World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers.
Braun ranks second in Brewers history in RBIs (1,154), extra-base hits (809), total bases (3,525) and doubles (408). He ranks third in runs (1,080), hits (1,963), triples (49), stolen bases (216) and walks (586).