Brewers News

Milwaukee Brewers: General Managers’ Meetings Preview

FORT BRAGG, NC - JULY 03: A detailed view of baseballs prior to the game between the Miami Marlins and Atlanta Braves on July 3, 2016 in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The Fort Bragg Game marks the first regular season MLB game ever to be played on an active military base. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
FORT BRAGG, NC - JULY 03: A detailed view of baseballs prior to the game between the Miami Marlins and Atlanta Braves on July 3, 2016 in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The Fort Bragg Game marks the first regular season MLB game ever to be played on an active military base. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /
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Starting on Monday November 13th, all of the GMs will gather together in sunny Orlando, FL for the General Managers’ meetings. They will meet through Thursday. The four-day conference has a major impact on how the off-season will play out. Milwaukee Brewers GM David Stearns could play a big part in these meetings.

No, these are not the big Winter Meetings where chaos reigns supreme. Those are in December. These GM meetings set the stage for all of the mayhem that happens in those December meetings. There may not be as much action but everything starts here.

What happens at the GM Meetings?

Going into these meetings, David Stearns and other GMs around the league will have their lists of what they need, what they have excess of, and what they want to do. This gives everyone a chance to meet and see if they match as a potential trade partner.

So far, we’ve speculated a couple of trade ideas for the Milwaukee Brewers with Kansas City, Detroit, Colorado, Toronto, and Seattle. This is where Stearns can meet with those GMs in-person to learn what they want in a trade package. Those trades may not get worked out right then and there, but it lays the groundwork for deals later in the off-season.

Although these meetings are generally less exciting than the ones in December, it doesn’t mean that there won’t be any action going on. With the deadline for protection from the Rule 5 draft set at November 20th, a few minor deals on fringe roster players could happen this week.

Also, the off-season has been mostly quiet so far on the rumor front, but these meetings kick the rumor mill into high gear. We could hear talk like “David Stearns has had a five hour conversation with Jerry Dipoto, GM of the Seattle Mariners,” or “David Stearns and Tigers GM Al Avila just went into a conference room together.” Talks in Orlando spark rumors as to who teams target based on who the discussions that occur. Plus, agents representing free agents are also sniffing around and could have important conversations.

Which need are the Brewers looking to fill?

The Milwaukee Brewers have two big needs and one small need going into these meetings. The big needs are acquiring starting pitching, and finding an answer at second base. The small need is clearing up the outfield picture. The Brewers have five outfielders for three spots. Trading Ryan Braun would be ideal, but highly unlikely.

So it’s probable that  Stearns talks to GMs with starters or second basemen that are on the trading block. It’s also probable that he could talk to the agents for Yu Darvish, Jake Arrieta, and Lance Lynn. Just because he has a conversation with any of these people doesn’t mean a deal is going to happen. If salary or trade demands are too high, Stearns could simply tell them to contact him in case there’s a change.

How important are these meetings?

The level of activity in these meetings will set up the rest of the off-season. These discussions are all about determining expectations and market value of players. This is where Stearns can find out how other GMs value the Brewers trade chips like Keon Broxton or Jesus Aguilar. If the other GMs value players similarly to how their own GM values them, a deal could be put together. If the two don’t see eye-to-eye on a player’s trade value, then they either won’t match-up on a deal.

Take Broxton for example. A team could be low on Broxton and may not want to meet the expectations Stearns has for a return. But when Lorenzo Cain or Carlos Gomez signs somewhere else, they could come back to Stearns about Broxton and get a deal done. These meetings lay the groundwork for potential trades down the road, even if the deals aren’t Plan A or B.

The four-day rumor extravaganza will go on all week and there’s plenty of reasons to get excited. Rumors will start flying and deals could even get done. This winter is expected to be a lot more active for David Stearns and the Milwaukee Brewers and the GM meetings are just the first part of it.

Next: Minor League free agents to consider

We’ll do the best we can to keep you updated on all the rumors coming out of the GM Meetings this week and what they mean. If David Stearns is as active as he’s expected to be, this will be a very interesting off-season.

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