MILWAUKEE (AP) _ When the Milwaukee Brewers open their new ballpark in the year 2000, first baseman David Nilsson is likely to be in the lineup.

The Australian, who signed with the Brewers organization at the age of 17, agreed Monday to a $10.8 million, three-year contract with a team option for 2000.

Nilsson gets $2.3 million next season, $3 million in 1998 and $4 million in 1999. The Brewers have a $5 million option for 2000 with a $1.5 million buyout.

``I know that sounds like a lot of money, but I think it's a good deal,'' manager Phil Garner said. ``David is a left-handed hitter, he's young, and, if he ever went into free agency, he'd break the bank.''

Nilsson, 27, hit .331 last season with 17 homers and 84 RBIs. His .331 average was second in Brewers history for left-handed batters, behind Cecil Cooper's .352 mark in 1980.

``We are very pleased to have David signed to a long-term deal,'' general manager Sal Bando said. ``Having his bat in the middle of our lineup for the next four seasons will be essential.''