Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun admitted recently that the upcoming 2020 season could very well be his last.
Braun made the declaration while attending the Brewers' annual winter festival and convention Sunday.
"There's at least a chance this is my last fan fest as a player," the 36-year-old Braun said. "You definitely get a little nostalgic and think about how quickly it goes by. I've thought about it a little bit, but for me, the goal is always to stay fully present and try to be the best version of myself as a player this year, and then figure out the future when I get through the season."
Braun, who won the 2011 National League Most Valuable Player Award, is entering the final season of a five-year, $105 million contract. The deal also has a mutual option for the 2021 campaign.
Braun batted .285 with 22 homers and 75 RBIs in 144 games last season. The game total was his most since 2012.
"I don't take for granted this could be my last year playing baseball," Braun said. "Obviously, there's a sense of urgency every year, but for me, knowing that this could be my last chance ever, it's something that adds to that sense of urgency.
"I feel good about the fact that they've put a team together that should be competitive again. We went to the postseason the past two years. The team that we lost to last year ended up winning the whole thing. It's just about finding a way to get into the postseason and finding a way to get hot at the right time."
Braun has batted .298 with 344 homers and 1,128 RBIs in 1,727 games, all with the Brewers.
The Brewers are signing free agent reliever David Phelps to a one-year contract with a club option for 2021, multiple outlets reported last week.
The deal is pending a physical for the 33-year-old right-hander.
According to MLB Network, Phelps will earn $1.25 million in 2020 with up to $1.9 million in performance bonuses based on appearances. The 2021 club option is worth $4.5 million with a $250,000 buyout and also includes up to $1.9 million in performance incentives.
Phelps split the 2019 season between the Toronto Blue Jays and Chicago Cubs, compiling a 2-1 record with one save and a 3.41 ERA in 41 appearances. He struck out 36 batters and walked 17 in 34 1/3 innings.
He has a 32-34 record with six saves, a 3.86 ERA and 556 strikeouts in 269 career games (65 starts) with the New York Yankees (2012-14), Miami Marlins (2015-17), Seattle Mariners (2017), Blue Jays and Cubs.
Phelps missed the entire 2018 season following Tommy John surgery.
Infielder Luis Urias had surgery to repair a fractured hamate bone in his left wrist on Tuesday, and he could miss the start of the regular season.
Urias, who was acquired from the San Diego Padres in November, posted about the operation on Instagram, vowing to be back soon. Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns told reporters that Urias will miss about eight weeks.
"If you do the math, I'd say it's fair to say he is questionable for Opening Day," Stearns said. "I think he could get there, or it could be shortly after Opening Day.
"We do not see this as something that materially impacts his season. This is an injury that's fairly common with position players, and the recovery rate is very high here. Obviously, unfortunate that Luis has to go through this, but not a long-term impactful injury."
Manager Craig Counsell said at the winter meetings that Urias would have a shot to beat out returning shortstop Orlando Arcia for the starting job.
Urias, a 22-year-old from Mexico, was hurt while playing this winter for Obregon in the Mexican Pacific Winter League, where he batted .288 in 30 games.
In 71 games with the Padres in 2019, he hit .223 with four home runs and 24 RBIs, striking out 56 times in 215 at-bats.
The Brewers acquired Urias, starting pitcher Eric Lauer and a player to be determined from the San Diego Padres in November in exchange for starting pitcher Zach Davies and outfielder Trent Grisham.