What kind of direction will manager Ron Roenicke (pictured right) lead this team next year? Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
While it certainly hasn’t been a quiet off-season in Milwaukee, one has to wonder if the Brewers are done making further adjustments to the roster. There’s not exactly anyone out there they would need, maybe other than a first baseman, so will they remain stagnant until March?
The trades of Burke Badenhop and Norichika Aoki aside, the Brewers haven’t done much since the season ended and maybe that was to be expected. For a team that not only works from within the inside, but also doesn’t have a huge budget to work with, perhaps the market they were interested in has dwindled down quite a bit.
Obviously first base remains an issue in the minds of the front office and general manager Doug Melvin. The Brewers failed to re-sign Corey Hart, didn’t pick up James Loney, haven’t traded for anyone and are now scrounging around for an answer. Maybe the answer is Hunter Morris who very well could make his debut in 2014, who really knows what will happen.
Juan Francisco looks to be the leading candidate for first base should the Brewers not acquire another player. Maybe he’ll split time at first with Sean Halton and possibly Morris, but let it be know that the Brewers don’t exactly have a lot of fallback options for the position.
Aside from first base, the rest of the team is pretty set. The outfield is locked up and secured, as is the infield, especially when the team announced they would not be trading veteran third baseman Aramis Ramirez during this current off-season. Maybe they could go after a utility player, but with them picking up Elian Herrera not too long ago, I doubt they have much of a need for another player.
Maybe the pitching staff is where they could find a spot for a new face, but it’s already becoming somewhat crowded. With manager Ron Roenicke tentatively naming Tyler Thornburg the fifth starter, that clears up the fact that the Brew Crew probably isn’t looking for a starter. The acquisition of left-hander Will Smith also throws a second lefty in the bullpen to complement Tom Gorzelanny.
It’s hard to say at this point what the Brewers will do, if anything. Maybe they could look for another pitching piece, but with the influx of all the younger players breaking through, it may not be necessary. First base may be the only void they need to fill until the season begins, so we’ll see what Melvin and Co. have in mind.