It's hard to say for sure what might have happened five or six years down the road, but my initial observation is that Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun could have landed a sweet deal as soon as he's eligible for free agency. But Braun valued financial security right now instead of waiting for the big pay day, so he probably took a little less, yet feels great about the deal.
For the Brewers, they locked up one of the teams two best players for a deal that is the richest in team history. A few years down the road, the richest deal in team history will probably belong to somebody else. And that's OK.
What Brewers fans must hope for now is that other rising young stars follow suit. Prince Fielder would be the natural next choice, but there's no guarantee he'll give up any free agent years with a potential block-buster deal in his potential future.
But perhaps the Brewers could lock down JJ Hardy and Corey Hart. And don't forget about Yovani Gallardo and Manny Parra.
The Brewers say they're always open to discussion and so far nobody has taken that beyond spring training. But owner Mark Attanasio has his pocket open and is willing to spend. The Brewers are hoping those young players will see what Braun was able to do and follow suit.