There have been a bunch of Brewers rumors surrounding free agent outfielder Avisail Garcia and the team, but still no deal yet.
We first heard about the Brewers rumors having them close to a deal with Avisail Garcia on Friday night from Jose Rivera of ESPN Deportes. The next day, Ken Rosenthal and Jon Heyman confirmed the interest from the Brewers, but that no deal was done.
It’s now been two whole days since interest was first reported and that a deal was close. Normally, it doesn’t take that long to finish a deal if they really were close on Friday.
Also, Brewers fans aren’t really used to rumors surrounding a certain player lasting this long. With how the Brewers operate, reporters don’t normally find out about Milwaukee’s movements until the 11th hour when things are basically wrapped up and becomes official just hours later.
Who Is Avisail Garcia?
A longtime outfielder with the White Sox, Garcia spent 2019 with the Tampa Bay Rays, posting a .282/.332/.464 slash line with 25 doubles, 20 home runs, and 10 stolen bases.
Garcia had an All-Star performance in 2017 with the Sox, hitting .330 with a .885 OPS, 27 doubles, 18 homers, and 80 RBIs.
The 28-year old Garcia has spent most of his career defensively in right field, and was worth three Defensive Runs Saved there in 2019. Over his career, he’s put up mostly negative numbers in right field, but has been trending in the right direction as of late. If a signing were to happen, that could put Christian Yelich in left field more often going forward.
Garcia earned $3.5 million in 2019 with Tampa Bay.
Why Another Outfielder?
The Brewers already have their three starting jobs pretty much locked down with Yelich, Lorenzo Cain, and Ryan Braun. Especially given how much money those guys are being paid, if they’re healthy, they are going to play.
But with Cain and Braun on the wrong side of 30 and needing regular days off to stay healthy, getting another starting caliber outfielder is key to making sure production doesn’t drop off without them. Ben Gamel is a solid fourth outfielder, but can only fill one spot at a time.
This could also mean that Braun is going to see a lot more time at first base in 2020, the final guaranteed year of his contract. That would allow Garcia and Yelich to patrol the corners, with Gamel still as the fourth outfielder. With 26 man rosters next year, they’ll have the extra roster spot to give so all five of those players can be kept on.
Why Hasn’t This Deal Been Done Yet?
It could be any number of reasons. This report was not leaked from the Brewers end, as they keep it pretty tight-lipped in there. Considering the original report came from ESPN Deportes, this leak came from Garcia’s end.
Perhaps Garcia or his agent leaked the news a little early. Maybe both sides are waiting on a physical or having issues with the physical they have to work out. Garcia did deal with a couple of minor injuries towards the end of the season, including an oblique injury, a glute injury, and an illness that had him dealing with vertigo.
This is pure speculation, but maybe something came up in the physical and the Brewers are trying to renegotiate the salary based on those results and lower the guaranteed money.
While there’s no indication this deal has fallen through, it’s weird to see that a deal has been “close” for two days and there’s been no movement since then. This signing could still come to fruition, but hopefully we’ll hear about what took so long to get it done.
The Milwaukee Brewers don’t necessarily need another outfielder, but if the plan is to put Braun at first base in 2020, then adding Garcia makes a lot of sense.