Milwaukee Brewers: Will they bring any free agents back?
By John Schnabl
A lot has happened to the Milwaukee Brewers over this last week, including the loss of several impact players who have become free agents. Will any of those well known free agents be back with the team next year?
The addition of Mike Moustakas gave the Milwaukee Brewers a big bat, solid glove and a player with playoff and championship experience. He played well for the Brewers, hitting .256 with 8 home runs and 33 RBI’s in 54 games. He also had a few clutch hits down the stretch and in the playoffs. In 2019, the team would have had to pay him $15 million which made him expensive for a small market team like the Brewers.
Moustakas had a good enough season to want to test the free agent waters again this year with the hope that they aren’t as rocky as they were last off-season. The price tag is high, the Milwaukee Brewers have young inexpensive infield talent coming through the system and Travis Shaw will be back next year. The chance of re-signing Moustakas is pretty slim.
Joakim Soria was brought in as a veteran reliever to provide quality depth to a highly used bullpen. He started out strong with the Milwaukee Brewers but seemed to wear down as the season went on.
His numbers during the postseason were bad. He posted a 7.71 ERA and 1.7 WHIP in 4 2/3 innings. Soria is 34 years old, and the Brewers have a lot of young arms to choose from next year, so there is very little chance he will be back with the team next year.
Wade Miley may have been the team ace during the second half of the season. He was a player who was left for dead by every other team except the Milwaukee Brewers.
Miley had a 5-2 record with a 2.57 ERA in 80 innings. He was a fan and clubhouse favorite, but will have a lot of options on the free agent market. That could lead to a contract worth tens of millions of dollars. Because of potential price tag and the young arms that will be entering the rotation in 2019, it’s is unlikely Miley will return to the team next year.
Gio Gonzalez was having a season to forget with the Washington Nationals, but really turned it around with the Milwaukee Brewers. In five starts with the Brewers he had a 2.13 ERA and the team won every game he started.
At age 33, he is another player that is going to draw considerable attention from other teams. Because of that, he is most likely going to be out of the Brewers’ price range and not back in 2019.
Erik Kratz became sort of a folk hero with fans this past season. He came to the team as a 38 year old journeyman and ended up being an important part of the team’s playoff run.
During the regular season he didn’t hit very well but had some clutch hits in the playoffs. He’s a good teammate, knows how to handle pitchers, has decent arm and was a nice compliment to Manny Pina. If the Brewers can’t find catching help during the off-season, Kratz is a player who has a chance to be back again next year.
There are several key names who could return to the Milwaukee Brewers in 2019, but it really depends on how the market plays out. The team still needs to round out their bench and bullpen, so there’s always a chance for a reunion if a player is willing to make a deal.