Aaron Ashby Contract

The Brewers have announced a five-year contract extension with left-hander Aaron Ashby, spanning through 2027 and featuring club options for 2028 and 2029. Ashby will earn $20.5MM over the five guaranteed years of his deal, as per Joel Sherman of The New York Post (Twitter link) (Twitter link).

He may more than double that number if the contract is maxed out, as Sherman writes that another $25.5MM is possible if both options are exercised and Ashby hits all his escalators. Ashby is represented by Turner-Gary Sports.

The deal only cements Ashby’s role as a vital piece of the Brewers’ future, and it also gives the 24-year-old some guaranteed money and stability early in his career. Ashby (the nephew of former major leaguer Andy Ashby) was a fourth-round pick in the 2018 draft, and he advanced fast through the minors, winning the Brewers’ minor league Pitcher Of The Year honors in 2019 and then making his MLB debut in 2021.

Pitching as both a starter and reliever across his two seasons in the Show, Ashby has a 4.56 ERA, 58 percent grounder rate, 27.5 percent strikeout rate, and 9.9 percent walk rate.

Aaron Ashby Contract

The poor walk number is essentially the only stain on Ashby’s CV, as other advanced measures (including a career 3.40 SIERA and only a .291 xwOBA this season) show that his ERA is a touch deceiving. A .339 BABIP this year, for instance, weighs disproportionately on a groundball-heavy pitcher like Ashby.

Still, there is definitely plenty for the Brewers to like with his performance to date, as Ashby has moved from swingman to full-fledged starter in the aftermath of injuries in Milwaukee’s rotation.

Aaron Ashby  Contract

Freddy Peralta and Adrian Houser are still on the disabled list, though Peralta is due to begin a rehab assignment this weekend and Houser is expected back sometime in August.

With Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff both getting more expensive in their arbitration years and both due for free agency following the 2024 season, it remains to be seen how the Brewers will manage their rotation over the long run. Eric Lauer will also be a free agent that same winter, and Lauer is upping his own price tag with a successful performance in 2022.

In locking up Ashby and Peralta to extensions, president of baseball operations David Stearns has already planted some cornerstones for a possible future without any of their other three starters, and the franchise’s proven ability to find and develop pitching continues to be a key factor in the Brewers’ ability to compete.

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Peralta’s extension is an obvious comp for Ashby’s deal. Signed back in February 2020, Peralta (with just over a year of MLB service time) inked a deal again consisting of five guaranteed years and two club option years, except worth $15.5MM in guaranteed money and $14.5MM more during the option seasons.

At the time, Peralta was similarly a swingman who had yet to fully establish himself as a rotation regular, and Ashby’s greater guarantee could reflect his stronger big league results and perhaps simply two-plus years of salary inflation.

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