Even though this past week is normally where you would think a lot of big deals would get done, that hasn’t been the case. That just makes the wait for a deal even longer for the Milwaukee Brewers.
As easy as it might be to say “just go out and sign somebody” and give them the money they’re asking for and get it over with, it’s not that simple. The Milwaukee Brewers, along with most of the other teams, are waiting on a few big name players to sign contracts before they can move on with their offseason.
How Is The Market Impacting The Brewers?
Manny Machado is taking his time, trying to get as much money as he can. Former Brewer and current free agent Mike Moustakas is someone that the Brewers are reportedly interested in bringing back to fill a spot in the infield. But Moustakas won’t sign until after Machado does.
Machado is a 3B/SS and the teams that miss out on Machado could immediately pivot to Moustakas for a deal since he’s the next best option at that position. So he’s going to wait and see what those desperate teams offer, and if he gets a multi-year deal, he’s probably going to take it.
Meanwhile, the second base market has been moving without issue as the top names in Jed Lowrie, DJ LeMahieu, and Brian Dozier have all recently signed elsewhere. The Brewers are running out of starting quality players on the free agent market at second base and they can’t afford to wait on Moose much longer.
It’s a tricky balancing act for Brewers GM David Stearns, but everything could be solved once Machado finally signs somewhere and the market gets set for Moustakas.
At the same time, lefty starter Dallas Keuchel is still lingering out there on the free agent market. It’s unknown how involved the Brewers are in his market, given he’s looking for a long term contract with a fairly high AAV, especially for a small market team like Milwaukee. He’d certainly provide an upgrade at a position the Brewers lack depth at, left handed pitching, and he’d be the unquestioned established ace starter for this rotation.
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The Brewers are also interested in bringing back Wade Miley, but Miley won’t sign until after Keuchel does, because the teams who lose out on Keuchel, will still want that LHP and Miley is the next best option out there. He’s likely to command at least a two year contract after Keuchel signs.
While I’ve made clear my position on whether or not Miley should be brought back, the Milwaukee Brewers are going to wait to see what the market holds for him. But they can’t do that until Keuchel signs. And unless they just put in a new high offer for Keuchel and sign him ASAP, they’re going to have to wait a little longer.
Right now, the only free agents the Brewers are able to sign are pure second baseman like Asdrubal Cabrera and some back end of the bullpen type of arms. Those are the only positions they’re going to be looking at where the market isn’t being held up.
The entire left side of the infield market is held up by Machado and the outfield market, although the Brewers aren’t in that, is held up by Harper. The entire starting pitching market is being held up by Keuchel. Everyone is waiting on these three players.
The sooner Machado, Harper, and Keuchel sign, the better things will be for the free agents below them, the rest of the teams, and baseball fans in general because this offseason has been painfully slow, just like the last one. People are losing interest the longer this goes on.
GM David Stearns is a patient man, and he’ll wait out the market as long as he needs to before he pounces. We likely won’t hear much about it before it’s official, because that’s how Stearns rolls.
But for those pushing for the Brewers to re-sign either Moustakas or Miley, they’re going to have to wait until Machado and Keuchel sign their contracts first. It’s agonizing, but it’s the reality of this market.
The Milwaukee Brewers have already made some big additions to their roster, most notably in getting Yasmani Grandal to play catcher. Perhaps they’ll have another addition or two up their sleeves.