Re: Would it be smart to sign Bruce to an 8 year deal?
The sooner the better, but the big risk is the injury factor. That's the payoff, the player gets less money than he would if he signed year to year, but he is guaranteed the money no matter what happens. That's why these contracts almost never have options, since the player gets nothing out of it if the team can opt out.
Obviously, after one game, it is too soon to make such a decision. But I would do it at the end of this year, if he is good as he is expected to be. I think Ryan Braun #'s would be appropriate, since outfielders are easier to find than SS.