Brewers News

Brewers: Three free agents to target this winter

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 27: Starting pitcher Zack Wheeler #45 of the New York Mets throws a pitch in the first inning during a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on June 27, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 27: Starting pitcher Zack Wheeler #45 of the New York Mets throws a pitch in the first inning during a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on June 27, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) /
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3) Didi Gregorious, SS

Coming in at number three on our list for who the Milwaukee Brewers should target in free agency is the best available shortstop on the market: Didi Gregorius.

Gregorius is coming off of a season where he missed a significant amount of time at the start of it due to recovering from Tommy John surgery which he had undergone during the prior season. He featured in just 82 games last season after appearing in at least 134 games in each of his previous four seasons in New York.

Despite struggling with the bat a bit after returning from his injury, Gregorius did manage to post 0.8 fWAR in his 82 games for the team. That comes on the heels of back-to-back seasons where he produced over four fWAR.

It’s not difficult to see why Gregorius should be a real consideration for the Brewers. Milwaukee has gotten awful production out of their shortstop position offensively in each of the past two seasons, which is something that I discussed in my season review of Orlando Arcia a few weeks ago. Though Gregorius was below the league average this past season with his bat (his WRC+ was 84), he was better than the league average in each of the previous two seasons (he posted a WRC+ of 109 and 122 in 2017-18).

Beyond his bat, he also provides a high level of defense that meets or exceeds what Arcia provides. Though his ratings in Defensive Runs Saved is mixed, his Ultimate Zone Rating has been above-average in each of the past four seasons, as has his defensive rating on Fangraphs.

With the Brewers probably lacking the assets to land a top shortstop via trade, they’ll have to use free agency to improve at the position. There’s no one on the market at short this winter that’s better than Gregorius. His combination of solid defense and offense would be a great addition to the team.

He’ll turn 30 in February.

Predicted Contract:   Two years, $28 million

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