Milwaukee Brewers: The Hypothetical Perfect Off-Season Plan

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LOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 15: Manager Craig Counsell #30 of the Milwaukee Brewers looks on from the dugout during the first inning of Game Three of the National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on October 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

As the MLB offseason gets ready to kick into (hopefully) high gear, I got to thinking, “What would a perfect Milwaukee Brewers offseason look like?”. They’re very hard to achieve, but let’s give it a try.

If I were David Stearns, how would I approach this offseason for the Milwaukee Brewers?

This team is coming off a Game 7 loss in the NLCS, finishing one game shy of reaching the World Series. The core is in place, and there’s a defined window for the next four years where the Brewers are in a prime spot to win it’s first title.

The Brewers don’t need any major overhauls or significant changes. All they need is to plug a few holes and see if there are any upgrades out there.

The payroll is going to have to increase due to arbitration raises and the possibility of other additions to remain competitive next season. Given owner Mark Attanasio’s desire to win, increased revenue, and those raises, we’ll see the hypothetical payroll limit for next season at $130 million. Payroll projections courtesy of Roster Resource.

The Hypothetical Perfect Brewers Off-Season

Let Wade Miley, Gio Gonzalez, Curtis Granderson, Erik Kratz, Jordan Lyles, and Joakim Soria all walk

As you’ve probably seen me state multiple times by now, I’m not a believer in the long-term success of Wade Miley. His peripheral stats all point to a major decline in 2019, and now with the loss of pitching coach Derek Johnson, who brought Miley back into relevancy, there’s no reason for Miley to return.

Gonzalez was a nice addition towards the end, but he’ll look for a decent chunk of money on the open market and the Brewers need to find innings for the glut of young starters they currently have. Granderson was also a nice veteran add, but he’ll seek a job elsewhere this winter.

Kratz was a great story during the postseason, but he still doesn’t put up strong offensive numbers and is going to be 39 years old next season. The Brewers shouldn’t count on him for next year.

Lyles and Soria had their contract options declined and there’s little reason to see either of them back. Lyles doesn’t have a high ceiling and Soria didn’t pitch great with Milwaukee since being acquired.

Current Payroll Projection: $116.7 million

Find A Trade Partner For Jonathan Schoop

Even with the large arbitration figure for Schoop next year, I find it hard to believe he’ll be non-tendered and put on the open market for nothing. The Milwaukee Brewers cut Scooter Gennett loose for nothing and now everyone is upset because he’s good and the Brewers didn’t get anything for him.

Even with that being said, I don’t think Schoop will be back in Milwaukee next year. He simply struggled too much and will be owed too much money. That brings us to the next logical step, which is trading him.

He has a track record of being a good hitter but Milwaukee wasn’t a good fit for him. He can get a much needed change of scenery and the Brewers can cut their losses and move on from what will go down as one of Stearns’ worst trades during his tenure.

If Schoop can bring back a major league reliever or a couple minor league prospects, I think that will be a decent return for a player coming off such a terrible season.

Current Payroll Projection: $106.6 million

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