The Milwaukee Brewers have seen several young stars breakout in the past year. Which core members should they lock up with long term deals? There are several names who could get substantial raises and financial security this off season.
Chase Anderson started the Milwaukee Brewers off season by signing a two-year deal with two club option years. He essentially signed a four-year deal worth $28.25 million. Are there other young talents who could buy out a few arbitration years with long term deals? Absolutely.
Milwaukee Brewers closer Corey Knebel is the most obvious choice to sign a long term deal. He’s coming off his first All-Star appearance, and Knebel is entering his first year of salary arbitration. It would make sense for both sides to work out a multi-year deal. Relief pitching is notoriously volatile, but lock down closers are few and far between.
In 2014, Craig Kimbrel signed a four-year deal worth $42 million that bought out his arbitration years. He was also traded during the 2015 season.
Knebel could end up with a contract extension that comes close to the numbers Kimbrel got. Knebel will turn 27 before the start of the 2018 season. A four-year deal buys out all of his arbitration years, and allows him to go after a big contract in his age 31-season.
2018 is Travis Shaw‘s final year of team control. After, that he has three years of arbitration before he hits free agency. If the Milwaukee Brewers believe that he’s going to man the hot corner for the next decade, a contract extension makes sense sooner rather than later. Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter signed a six-year deal worth $52 million in 2014. Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager earned a seven-year contract that will pay him $100 million. Both deals bought out every arbitration season and then some.
It’s hard to see the Milwaukee Brewers going ‘Full Seager’, but a deal similar to Carpenter’s could make sense. Shaw will turn 28 next April. He may want to do a four- or five-year deal so he can still get a big contract at age 32 or 33.
Orlando Arcia is under team control for 2018 and 2019. It wouldn’t make a ton of sense for the team to reach out with a long term deal just yet, but there is precedent. The Chicago White Sox signed Tim Anderson to a six year deal worth $25 million last season. Anderson’s deal bought out all of his years under team control and arbitration. It’s clear that the Milwaukee Brewers view Arcia as a long term solution, so a long term deal may make sense. This assumes, of course, that Arcia wants the security of a six-year deal, and is willing to forego a few of the dollars he’s likely to earn.
The Milwaukee Brewers got off to a positive start this off season with Anderson’s extension. They still have more core members to come to terms with, but it’s clear that the pieces are falling into place.