One week from Sunday, Brewers slugger Ryan Braun will acquire 10-and-5 rights, granting him full no-trade protection. A player achieves 10-and-5 rights when they spend 10 years in the big leagues, including the last five with the same team. Braun has been with Milwaukee his entire career.
It would seem as though the 10-and-5 rights would all but end any chance the rebuilding Brewers have of trading Braun, their longest tenured but also most expensive player. They've been shopping him since at least last year's trade deadline, and at one point there was talk about a Braun for Yasiel Puig trade with the Dodgers. That, obviously, did not come together.
Braun, however, told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he doesn't anticipate the 10-and-5 rights changing anything with regards to a trade possibility. Braun already has a limited no-trade clause that allows him to block deals to 24 teams. The teams he can be traded to without his permission are the Dodgers, Angels, Giants, Padres, Diamondbacks, and Marlins.
Here's what Braun told Haudricourt:
"There's only a couple of teams that would be any possibility now, and there's only a couple of teams that would be any possibility after, so it's not going to really change anything," said Braun, who has been unable to play in the field for a week due to shoulder/arm issues. "I don't think it will play much of a role or have any significance.
"I think other teams may have the perception that it could be relevant. But, because of my relationship with (principal owner) Mark (Attanasio), David and (assistant general manager) Matt (Arnold), we communicate so well, I don't think it will have any effect at all, to be honest."
There is $80 million left on Braun's contract from 2017-20, including the buyout of his 2021 club option, and that remaining salary all but ensures the Marlins and Padres won't be trading for him. The D-Backs might not be able to swing that financially either. The Dodgers and Giants sure could, however. The Angels as well as long as they're willing to pay luxury tax, which they have been trying to avoid in recent years.
Braun makes his home in Southern California, making the Dodgers (or Angels) the best fit for him, personally. And the Dodgers could use him too. They've struggled against left-handed pitchers dating back to last season, and Braun's big right-handed bat would go a long way to correcting that problem. Trading Puig for Braun would give Los Angeles an outfield unit of Braun, Joc Pederson, Cody Bellinger, Andrew Toles, and Franklin Gutierrez. (Andre Ethier is on the disabled list.)
For now, the Brewers will continue to scour the trade market for a Braun suitor, though their hands are already tied thanks to the limited no-trade clause. And come next week, the 10-and-5 rights will put Braun in complete control of the situation. He could tell the team it's Dodgers or bust.
Braun, 33, is currently day-to-day with lingering trap and forearm issues. He is hitting .284/.370/.580 (144 OPS+) with seven home runs in 25 games in 2017.