According to MLB Insider Mark Feinsand, sources have indicated that the Milwaukee Brewers and Christian Yelich are nearing a record extension for seven years, totaling $215 million.
Currently, Ryan Braun holds the record for the best deal given by the Brew Crew to any player - a $105 million extension that covers 2016-2020.
Based on how well Yelich has performed for the Brewers, he certainly deserves such an extension. Per stats from Baseball Reference, in the last two seasons, Yelich's list of accolades is remarkable. He was the 2018 NL MVP, has won two Silver Slugger awards, was first in Offensive WAR, batting average, 1st in OBP (2019), 1st in Slugging %, and 1st in OPS.
Those numbers just touch the surface, as Yelich also hit a cool slash line in 2019 of .329/.429/.671 with 44 homers and 97 RBI. Yelich lost the 2019 MVP crown to Cody Bellinger, but remember that injuries caused Yelich's 2019 season to end early in September.
The Brewers were busy this offseason, but the overall feeling among fans was that none of the moves were very significant. Coupled together with the fact that the Brewers let Yasmani Grandal and Mike Moustakas go in free agency, there didn't seem to be much to excite Crew fans. A deal to extend Yelich for an extra seven years would certainly amp up the excitement level.
Can Yelich sustain the kind of performance we've seen from him for the last two years? Christian was a solid player when he was with the Marlins, but showed remarkable improvement when joining the Brew Crew.
Per MLB reporter Adam McCalvy, Brewers' Manager Craig Counsell is high on Yelich sustaining his level of performance.
I think Christian sometimes surprises us because he’s just a humble guy, and sometimes those two things [humility and competitiveness], when they cross, it’s almost like, 'I didn’t expect that.' But it’s in there. He’s got a real drive and desire to be great. It’s there, and it’s not going anywhere. It’s not going away. That’s why I’ve got so much faith in what he’s going to do every year.
It will be interesting to see if the Brewers can ink Yelich to this deal and whether Christian can perform at current levels for years to come. These kinds of deals are always a bit of a gamble, but I wouldn't bet against Yelich.