It’s January 10th and there are a ton of unsigned free agent infielders who could start for most teams. How do the Milwaukee Brewers stack up when compared to the current guys on the street?
The Milwaukee Brewers have a solid squad, but the unsigned guys could really just form their own team. It would have a payroll that would go well above the luxury tax, but there’s a full, competitive team out there.
Former Milwaukee Brewer Jonathan Lucroy is still a free agent. He’s entering the stage of his career where he’s better off as the meaty half of a platoon, but he has more upside than Manny Pina and Stephen Vogt. Lucroy may cost more, but catcher goes to Team Free Agent.
It’s Eric Hosmer vs. Eric Thames and Jesus Aguilar. If contracts matter, the Milwaukee Brewers half takes it in a landslide. Thames and Aguilar combined for a 3.0 WAR last season. Hosmer managed a 4.1 WAR in his walk year, but he’s going to cost some team a ton of money and a ton of years. Thames and Aguilar are cost effective and produced 47 homers to Hosmer’s 25. The edge goes to the Brewers.
The Milwaukee Brewers don’t have a clear cut starter at second base, while Team Free Agent has Neil Walker. Eric Sogard, Jonathan Villar, and Mauricio Dubon may end up out producing Walker this year, but at least Team Free Agent knows who’s playing. Walker gets the nod here.
The up and coming Orlando Arcia vs. Eduardo Nunez. Nunez turned in a solid 2017 campaign, but even he would choose the 23-year old with a ridiculously high ceiling and limited cost. The edge goes to the Milwaukee Brewers and Arcia.
Travis Shaw vs. current free agent Mike Moustakas. Both are left-handed and both bashed over 30 homers last year. Shaw managed to get on-base almost 35% of the time, while Moustakas only managed a .314 OBP. Shaw managed double digit steals last year, while Moustakas has 11 for his career. Moustakas is also two years older than Shaw. When it comes down to WAR numbers, Shaw compiled a 3.4 while Moustakas was only a 2.2. Shaw has the clear advantage, and it’s not close.
If the Milwaukee Brewers were to face off against Team Free Agent, they would have an advantage in three out of five positions. The only name on Team Free Agent that’s even an option for the Brewers is Neil Walker, and it looks like that ship has sailed. Unless Walker is willing to take a one-year ‘Pillow Contract’, he’s not likely to return to Milwaukee at this point.