Milwaukee Brewers: Is Hernan Perez a non-tender candidate?

MILWAUKEE, WI - AUGUST 12: Hernan Perez
MILWAUKEE, WI - AUGUST 12: Hernan Perez /

Steve Adams at MLBTradeRumors wrote up the potential non-tender candidates for all 30 MLB teams. He’s almost completely accurate with one odd addition. There is no way that the Milwaukee Brewers non-tender utility man Hernan Perez.

Why would the Milwaukee Brewers consider releasing Hernan Perez in the first place? Perez is entering his first year of arbitration. He’s due a raise over the $545,700 salary he received, but he’s not going to bust the Milwaukee Brewers budget. Perez offers impressive versatility off the bench, and he’s solid against lefties. However, there is a bit more to the story.

How was Perez’ 2017 season?

Honestly? Not great. Coming off an awesome 2016 season that saw him blast 13 homers, steal 34 bases, and play all over the field, Perez was expected to assume a larger role in 2017. He really didn’t.

Perez slashed .259/.289/.414 in 2017. He did manage to blast 14 homers, but he wasn’t on-base enough to steal bases. Offensively speaking, Perez was offensive. He did continue to play all over the field, and he was solid against lefties, but it’s clear that he’s not a full-time player at this point.

Wait, so is there a case to non-tender Perez?

Actually, yeah. It’s not likely, but it’s not as far fetched as the idea seems on the surface. Perez has value to the Milwaukee Brewers as a utility guy and bat against lefties. If the Brew Crew absolutely needed to cut costs, Perez would become a non-tender candidate. However, the Brewers aren’t cutting costs. If anything they’re looking to expand their payroll for 2018. A few million dollars for Hernan Perez isn’t enough to prevent the team from adding salary through free agency or trades.

So Perez will return in 2018?

He’ll make the 25-man roster, but if he doesn’t improve his on-base percentage, he could become a casualty of a roster crunch. The Milwaukee Brewers have a lot of talent that’s about to hit the roster. If Hernan Perez is still struggling, he could be DFA’ed to make room for Mauricio Dubon or Lucas Erceg.

Next: Dylan Baker claimed off of waivers

Perez has enough value to stick around for 2017, but if he doesn’t alter his approach at the plate, he’ll get non-tendered next year for sure. He still has time to turn it around. However, 2017 will be a make or break year for Perez’ future in a Milwaukee Brewers uniform.