Milwaukee Brewers: Questions Surround the Brewers’ Bullpen

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Jul 1, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Corey Knebel (46) and catcher Martin Maldonado (12) celebrate the final out against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Brewers defeated the Phillies, 9-5. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 1, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Corey Knebel (46) and catcher Martin Maldonado (12) celebrate the final out against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Brewers defeated the Phillies, 9-5. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /
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Who will be the go-to guys in the bullpen for Craig Counsell in 2017? With Thornburg and Jeffress gone, Milwaukee has some serious question marks regarding its bullpen.

David Stearns has undoubtedly been thinking about the current state of Milwaukee’s bullpen this offseason, especially after trading away Tyler Thornburg. Whether Stearns makes any moves to shore up the bullpen remains to be seen, but he is definitely exploring the market for relievers, both in free agency and in trades.

Here is Stearns on his efforts to make additions to his bullpen staff.

"“We’re still working on adding relievers to the picture, whether it’s via major-league free agency, minor-league free agency or trades. We’re covering all of the options. There are still a fair number of free-agent relief pitchers out there to sort through. So, we continue to go through that process.”"

There are still a good number of solid relievers in the free-agent market with late-inning experience. Greg Holland, Neftali Feliz, and Sergio Romo are three relievers with experience both as closers and setup men who could fit in nicely with the Brewers.

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /

Stearns isn’t ruling out in-house options as being the main contributors for the club in 2017 however.

"“We’re also comfortable with a lot of the names we have in-house as we reflect on how our bullpen performed last September. Our entire pitching staff performed well, and they are still largely here. We’re excited to have those guys back. If we have the opportunity to add to that group, we’ll do so.”"

Stearns has already seriously revamped the infield this offseason. He signed Eric Thames to play first base and added Travis Shaw to start at third base. Now the main area of need for the Brewers has become the bullpen.

Stearns will likely sign a veteran with closing experience to slot in as the new closer for Milwaukee. It would be in the Brewers best interest to add another solid guy to eat up innings via free agency or trade to totally shore up a bullpen that has been depleted of talent because of recent deals.

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