Milwaukee Brewers: Do they have pending free agents?
The Milwaukee Brewers have five players who will become free agents at the end of the 2018 season. Should the team look to re-sign anyone?
Erik Kratz, Dan Jennings, Gio Gonzalez, Wade Miley, and Curtis Granderson will hit free agency after the final outs of the 2018 World Series are recorded. Will any of them return to the Milwaukee Brewers in 2018?
Are there any other players to know about?
There are always a few DFAs, but reliever Joakim Soria is the only other player who has a chance to hit free agency next year. Soria has a team option for 2019 that’s worth $10 million with $1 million buyout. The Milwaukee Brewers will probably choose to pay Soria the $1 million, and send him on his way.
How about Kratz?
Kratz is in his age-39 season, and is more likely to retire than he is to come back to the Milwaukee Brewers. Catcher is an area of need for the Brewers, and Kratz won’t be in their plans for 2019.
Should Dan Jennings return?
Probably not. Between Xavier Cedeno, and Josh Hader, the Milwaukee Brewers have a few lefty options in the bullpen now. Jennings could return on a Minor League contract, but he’ll probably seek a Major League deal with a team that needs a LOOGY.
Could Granderson return?
If Granderson continues to produce down the stretch, he could return to the Milwaukee Brewers as a bench bat / reserve outfielder. The Brewers would rather have their young outfielders play every day in Colorado Springs than sit on the bench in Milwaukee. 2019 will be Granderson’s age-39 season, but there are few signs that he’s slowing down, and is a possibility to return.
Do Miley or Gonzalez fit the 2019 Brewers?
These are both tougher decisions, but still unlikely.
The Milwaukee Brewers know they’re going to have Chase Anderson, Zach Davies, Jhoulys Chacin, and Freddy Peralta in the fold for 2019. Jimmy Nelson will also return at some point next year. It’s unknown if he’ll make the rotation or succeed if he does, but the Brewers will give him a chance to prove himself. Nelson speaks for all five rotation spots, and they still have Brandon Woodruff, and Junior Guerra as depth.
Brent Suter and Hader could also force their way into the rotation. Suter is working his way back from Tommy John surgery, and should return around the All-Star break next year. Hader may still transition into a starting role.
It’s hard to see either Gonzalez or Miley return to the Milwaukee Brewers in 2019. Unless GM David Stearns can add a true ace, he’s probably not looking for another starting pitcher. Both Gonzalez and Miley will look for multi-year deals in 2019. However, 2018 was a very soft year for free agents, and it’s hard to see both pitchers landing lengthy contracts. Gonzalez will probably settle for a one- or two-year deal, while Miley will occupy the back end of someone’s rotation on a one-year deal.