Milwaukee Brewers GM David Stearns dealt for Travis Shaw and signed Eric Thames during the off season last year. All 30 MLB GMs will head to Boca Raton, FL for their annual meeting next week. Could Stearns surprise everyone again?
Stearns has been nothing if not aggressive in the past year. He added key pieces during the winter, and strengthened the team during the season. Stearns actively sought out low-risk/high-reward signings like Stephen Vogt. He dealt for Anthony Swarzak, Jeremy Jeffress, and Neil Walker. Will he stay aggressive this off season and look for deals that no one is talking about?
Likelihood a Free Agent is signed before Thanksgiving
While a few players like to get their deals worked out before the holiday season really begins, most will wait until the winter meetings before signing. Eric Thames signed on November 29th last year, but he’s an exception to the rule.
Agents want their clients to get the most they can. The best way to do that is to get the potential suitors in the same place and see if they’ll increase their bids. That’s why the annual Winter Meetings are a hotbed of rumors and deals. If the Milwaukee Brewers make a move in the next few weeks, it’s probably not a free agent signing.
Likelihood of a trade before Thanksgiving
The deal for Travis Shaw was completed on December 6th of last year. However, the Milwaukee Brewers dealt Francisco Rodriguez to the Detroit Tigers on November 18, 2015. While deals are unusual before the Winter Meetings, they’re not unheard of. Stearns will be in close proximity to GMs from the Tigers, Royals, Rockies, Mariners, and Blue Jays. If there’s a deal he can make, Stearns has proven that he’s not afraid to pull the trigger.
While a few relievers and bench players have already found new homes or decided to stay with their team, all the major players are still available. The Winter Meetings are when teams will be the most active, but staying on top of rumors during hot stove season is imperative. The Milwaukee Brewers have money to spend, and they have trade chips to deal. It’s simply a matter of how soon talks get started.