The Boston Red Sox have a plethora of outfield options to weed through this winter, and that is leading to a mountain of speculation about which teams are interested in acquiring some of that talent. Among those teams is the Milwaukee Brewers.
According to Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe, the Brewers are among a few teams that have interest in outfielder/first baseman Allen Craig. Whether this is flat-out speculation or not remains to be seen, but Richard Justice of MLB.com supports the assertion, noting that the Marlins and Mariners could also be potential fits.
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After a down year in which Craig struggled through health issues and put up a .215/.279/.315 slash-line with 8 home runs and 46 RBI, the price to pick up Craig couldn’t possibly be lower. Given that he was worth less than a replacement level player, at -1.4 fWAR, the Red Sox should be practically giving him away. The question comes, why would the Brewers really have any interest?
Milwaukee already has its own glut of outfielders, with their own interest to purge salary by making Gerardo Parra available. Additionally, the team made a trade to bring in Adam Lind from the Toronto Blue Jays to play first base. That makes Craig and his four-years and $38.5 million a very expensive platoon piece, an extra commodity where more cost effective pieces may already be in place.
Then again, if the Brewers take the gamble and Craig indeed is over the foot injuries that have plagued him over the last season plus. Prior to 2014 Craig was a strong producer at the plate, posting wRC+ rates over 134 and 137 over the 2012 and 2013 season and was worth 2.5 wins in each season.
The problem of course would be with playing time. Craig projects slightly below average in both the outfield and at first base, but given his foot issues would likely see more time at the bag than in right field. That said, the Brewers have addressed a need there in acquiring Adam Lind. The team will also look to give All-Star Jonathan Lucroy time there on off-days behind the plate in order to keep his bat in the line-up.
So while it would be great for the Brewers to add some more power to the line-up, and they could do so relatively cheaply in terms of trade pieces, the team could use that money in spread out for the team’s bullpen, which still appears to be a glaring need. So while this may be a quiet good move for some team, I’m not necessarily sure the Brewers are that squad.