With the offseason in full swing, the Milwaukee Brewers are getting a clearer picture at least on some players on whether or not they will be able to sign them.
When the Milwaukee Brewers first acquired Drew Pomeranz from the Giants back in July, fans did not have a positive initial reaction. With some thinking it was going to be Madison Bumgarner or Will Smith, landing Pomeranz who had struggled as a starter and was just recently demoted to the bullpen seemed odd at first.
But Pomeranz turned out to be a pretty nice acquisition by GM David Stearns, becoming one of the Crew’s top and most trusted relievers down the stretch.
Pomeranz finished his contract and went into free agency on a high note, with teams excited about his potential as a bullpen weapon.
Has that priced him out of a reunion with the Brewers?
The Market for Pomeranz
Every single MLB team is open to adding to their bullpen in every offseason. A pitcher that was as dominant as Pomeranz was will be sure to draw a lot of interest, especially from contenders and other big spending clubs.
With the free agent market not having many top end bullpen options out there, Pomeranz is basically at the top of the market for relievers. After Will Smith signed his three year, $13 million per year contract with the Braves, it left Pomeranz as the best option for teams needing a late inning bullpen weapon.
Odds are, Pomeranz is going to command a multi-year deal that’s worth probably close to $10 million per year.
Does that sound like a contract Brewers GM David Stearns will be willing to give out to a relief pitcher, the game’s most volatile position year-to-year? No, it does not.
If the Brewers couldn’t afford to keep Yasmani Grandal, who was extremely important in 2019 and a high priority to re-sign, then what is there to make us believe they will pay Pomeranz? Grandal’s AAV didn’t even increase at all, but going four years at that rate was just too much, for a player that will be consistently good at a position where that’s tough to find. So the same kind of thing for Pomeranz is just not happening.
As Good As Gone
Prepare your goodbyes for Drew Pomeranz now. He’s not coming back to Milwaukee, except in an opponent’s uniform. It was nice seeing him succeed with the Brewers and it was fun while it lasted, but it’s over now and time to move on.
The difference between losing Grandal and the eventual loss of Pomeranz, is that the Brewers have a solid in-house candidate to easily replace Pomeranz. Corey Knebel will be returning from Tommy John surgery next season and figures to retake his role in the back end of the Brewers bullpen that Pomeranz basically filled in the second half.
That will make it a little bit easier to swallow losing Pomeranz, but the Brewers are still trying to find that three headed monster in the bullpen to replicate their 2018 success. With Jeremy Jeffress regressing and eventually being released and Knebel missing the whole season, the pitching staff lacked the big arms it needed and it showed down the stretch.
They’ll try to find that success again in 2020, but will do so without Pomeranz. Although he hasn’t signed anywhere as of this article’s writing on November 24th, he’s as good as gone and you can forget about a reunion with him.