The Milwaukee Brewers need a solution at first base. Could they look to add free agent Kole Calhoun to handle first? Find out what the rumor mill is saying here…
The first base market has been slow to play out this off season. Most of the options that were available in November are still on the market in December.
Has Calhoun ever played first base?
Calhoun has nine games and 44 innings at first base at the Major League level. He hasn’t played there since 2015, but he has played there. He also has innings at all three outfield spots, but has spent the overwhelming majority of his time in right field. Calhoun could also handle an outfield spot if / when Ryan Braun starts at first base.
How did Calhoun perform in 2019?
Calhoun had a really odd stat line from the 2019 season. He managed to hit a career high 33 homers, but his slash line was only .232/.325/.424. He did score 92 runs and he was able to drive in 74. He also managed to steal four bases in five attempts.
Calhoun is also known for striking out…a lot. He averaged over a strikeout per game last year. However, his on-base percentage was almost 100 points higher than his batting average due to the 70 walks he was able to draw.
He hits homers, strikes out, and gets on base. It’s a surprise that the Oakland A’s haven’t already signed him.
Is Calhoun a fit for the Brewers?
He’s not an impact first baseman, but he’ll fit the Brewers budget, and he’s capable enough on offense and defense to help the team. If he can handle first base and the outfield, he’d provide the versatility in the field that the team covets. The biggest question about Calhoun is if he can repeat the power production while putting a few more balls in play.
Calhoun earned over $10 million last year and picked up $1 million after the Los Angeles Angels declined his option. He’ll likely have to sign for less for 2020. MLBTradeRumors has a one-year deal worth $6 million as their prediction for Calhoun. The $6 million sounds a little low, but the one year sounds right. Adding Calhoun on a one-year, ‘prove-it’ deal in the $8 million-to-$9 million range would fit the Brewers budget, add a solid player to the active roster, and allows Calhoun to get another chance at a multi-year deal next year. This is a formula that worked for Yasmani Grandal and Mike Moustakas. It could also work for Calhoun.