Milwaukee Brewers: Winter Meetings Final Roundup
By David Gasper
The Winter Meetings have come and gone and the Milwaukee Brewers have had a lot of conversations, but not much happened with the transaction wire.
Well that was a letdown.
The Winter Meetings that were supposed to be the point this offseason where everything exploded and we had deals coming in every hour was anything but. It was a dud, transaction-wise. But there were plenty of rumors.
He’s on the trade market. The Milwaukee Brewers are now actively shopping the corner outfielder who knocked 30 home runs in 2017. The market for him isn’t as large as David Stearns might have hoped, but the potential move is still intriguing. Once thought to be a cornerstone, Santana is now expendable in the eyes of the front office.
While a deal is not imminent for Santana, there is interest. The Giants are one team that has been connected to Santana but they don’t appear to be a good match in a potential trade for him. Top draft pick Heliot Ramos is thought to be necessary for any deal to occur with the Giants.
Davies’ agent Scott Boras said this week that the Brewers have not approached him with extension talks yet. With one more year before arbitration, Tom Haudricourt believes that he’s a more likely extension candidate next winter.
The Brewers are IN on Whit Merrifield. The Royals second baseman had a breakout season in 2017 and still has five years of control. It’s going to be tough to convince Kansas City to deal him, but they’re looking to rebuild and a good package of prospects to speed up that process.
The Brewers are IN on Danny Duffy. He’s extremely popular on the trade market right now and the Royals are getting a bunch of offers. Duffy, 28, is under contract for the next four years at $60 million and could be that left handed starter at the top of the rotation that the Brewers need.
Duffy does not want to leave. Unfortunately for him, he does not have a no-trade clause and the Royals are under no obligation to respect his wishes to stay in Kansas City. The Royals don’t really want to move him but with so many teams calling, they will take a good deal.
The Brewers are also IN on Chris Archer. Archer is the prize of the starting pitching trade market this off season. It will take a big haul as Tampa Bay looks to begin a rebuild but the Brewers do have the ability to put a package together that will convince the Rays to move him.
David Stearns said that he has a lot of trade conversations ongoing and is making good progress in some of them. It’s unknown if that progress has been made on Archer, or Duffy, or Merrifield, but the team is still being connected to these players so they could be the guys that Stearns is making progress on.
The Milwaukee Brewers reportedly have some interest in veteran Jesse Chavez. Chavez, 34, logged a 5.35 ERA out of both the bullpen and the rotation last year for the Angels. In his entire 10 year career, he’s posted a sub-4.00 ERA twice. It was back-to-back years in 2013 and 2014.
If the Brewers have any interest in Chavez it is likely only on a minor league deal. He can get an invite to Spring Training but that’s the best Chavez can hope for.
The Brewers are apparently “squarely in the mix” for free agent reliever J.J. Hoover. Hoover spent the first five years of his career with Cincinnati and spent last year with Arizona. He posted a 3.92 ERA last year and is viewed as a cost-efficient veteran option.
Hoover allowed 5.7 BB/9 last year and 5.8 BB/9 the year before. His command issues are prominent and he’s had a rough time lately with the long ball. Frankly, if the Milwaukee Brewers end up signing Hoover after letting Anthony Swarzak go, it will be a major disappointment.
Next: What's the second base market look like now?
David Stearns said after the meetings that he still has offers out to multiple free agents and his trade talks are progressing. While a deal didn’t get done at the actual meetings, Stearns is hopeful that one can be completed very soon.