The Milwaukee Brewers already re-signed one impending free agent prior to reaching the open market in Eric Sogard. Could they do the same with setup man Anthony Swarzak?
Swarzak is the only Milwaukee Brewers impending free agent left that the team should bring back. Matt Garza will not be welcome back and Neil Walker will cost too much. Plus he isn’t vital to team success. But a good setup man is something the Crew need if they will contend in 2018.
David Stearns cannot allow Anthony Swarzak to sign elsewhere in free agency. Trying to convince another free agent to sign in Milwaukee for what will likely be less money than other teams will offer is extremely difficult.
Based on past experience, it seems that free agents only have a big desire to play in Milwaukee if they’ve already played in Milwaukee. It’s too small of a market for them otherwise and they won’t take less money to play in it.
But players that have been on the Brewers absolutely love it and they rave about the organization. Eric Sogard, at the end of the season, stated that he would love to come back to Milwaukee and he already signed a contract. Swarzak also stated that he would love to return. Could his contract be coming soon?
As soon as the World Series concludes, teams have five days to talk with their impending free agents. On the sixth day, players can talk and sign with any team. If Swarzak doesn’t have a contract by that sixth day, he will definitely want to listen to what other teams are offering. While he could just as easily sign with Milwaukee after that point, it may bump up the price.
The Milwaukee Brewers know that and will likely do everything they can to prevent that from happening. Swarzak has been a journeyman the past couple seasons, pitching for four teams since 2015, including the Brewers.
Swarzak pitched to a 2.48 ERA with the Brewers in 29 games after a mid-season trade from the White Sox. He will be entering his age-32 season next year and a three year deal is not out of the question. As stated in our Off-Season Preview, a two-year, $12-18 million deal seems reasonable and a third year option would make a lot of sense if Stearns is unwilling to commit a third guaranteed year.
When Sogard signed, he said he knew there was something special going on in Milwaukee. He wanted to be a part of it. Swarzak has stated he wants to return as well. David Stearns proved he is willing to sign his players early this off-season meaning Anthony Swarzak could be the next to put pen to paper.
Even if Swarzak doesn’t sign in the next week and reaches free agency, it doesn’t mean he’s as good as gone. It doesn’t necessarily mean that he will get a larger contract either. All it means is that Swarzak will hear what other teams are willing to offer him. And these offers could be lower than his expectations, higher than his expectations, or right at his expectations. Either way, David Stearns will likely do all that he can to bring Swarzak back.
With the World Series finishing on Wednesday, that means David Stearns has until November 7 to be the only GM talking to Swarzak. A deal could very possibly be coming soon.