Brewers give closer Turnbow 3-year, $6.5 million contract


Every time he walks toward the bullpen this season at Miller Park, Milwaukee Brewers closer Derrick Turnbow will see a sign for TCW Funds, a money-management group that happens to be operated by his boss, team owner Mark Attanasio.

As of Sunday, Turnbow has considerably more money to manage.

The 28-year-old right-hander, who tied a franchise record with 39 saves last year, signed a three-year contract that will guarantee him $6.5 million.

“Turnbow is going to be picking up a few tabs now,” cracked fellow reliever and close friend, Matt Wise.

During spring training, Turnbow signed a one-year deal worth $488,000. The new deal adds $512,000 to that figure, pushing the total to $1 million. Turnbow’s base salary for 2007 will be $2.3 million and the figure will rise to $3.2 million in 2008.

Not bad for a guy who was claimed on waivers a little more than a year ago.

“I don’t think I can fathom it, to be honest with you,” Turnbow said. “Last year, we were up here for the exhibition games, and I was still hoping to be on the team. A year later, it’s a totally different situation.”

The deal, which was struck by Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash and Turnbow’s agent, Rick Thurman, includes several incentives. In 2007, Turnbow will receive $50,000 bonuses for both 45 games finished and 50 games finished, $75,000 for 55 games finished and $125,000 for 60 games finished.

Any of those incentives reached in 2007 will be added to his base salary for 2008. The same incentives apply during 2008. Turnbow also would get $100,000 for finishing first in Rolaids Relief standings, $75,000 for second (which is where he finished in ’05) and $50,000 for third.

Attanasio talked about the shared risks inherent with multi-year deals. Although the Brewers will obviously lose out if Turnbow is injured or underachieves, Attanasio pointed out that Turnbow could leave money on the table if he goes out and “super-performs through arbitration year after year after year.”

Said Turnbow: “It’s hard to pass up security in an unsecure world.”

Copyright 2006, Journal Sentinel Inc. All rights reserved. (Note: This notice does not apply to those news items already copyrighted and received through wire services or other media.)

Copyright 2006 Journal Sentinel Inc. Note: This notice does not

apply to those news items already copyrighted and received through

wire services or other media

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