The Milwaukee Brewers have gone through the first half of the offseason making relatively minor moves. Do they have a big one in store?
It’s no secret that the Brewers have lost more star power than they’ve gained so far this offseason. Yasmani Grandal, Mike Moustakas, Eric Thames, and Drew Pomeranz are all gone and in to replace them are Omar Narvaez, Ryon Healy, Justin Smoak, Avisail Garcia, and Brett Anderson, among others.
That’s not quite an inspiring group of names, although they could provide similar production.
But the Milwaukee Brewers should not be happy to settle for finding players to provide similar or slightly worse production at a cheaper cost.
The end goal for this Brewers team is to win the World Series, and they fell short of it last year because their roster wasn’t good enough. They shouldn’t be looking just to replicate last year’s production. They need to improve upon it.
The best way to make that kind of improvement is to make a big move that brings in a player or players that move the needle of this roster further towards the World Series. The Ryon Healy and Eric Sogard additions are nice depth pieces, but don’t really push a team from just a playoff contender to a World Series caliber team.
Will They Make A Big Splash?
They should. Whether they will or not is unknown at this point. But the Brewers should be well aware of how long their contention window is open with Christian Yelich under team control for three more seasons. These next three years are the best chances they are going to have at a World Series for the foreseeable future. They have to take advantage of that.
Brewers GM David Stearns has been shedding payroll so far this offseason and they currently sit about $30 million under their 2019 payroll for next season. They have room to spend some money.
Is It Time To Panic?
No, we shouldn’t panic about the Brewers not making a big splash yet. Keep in mind, the past two offseasons, Stearns has made his biggest moves in the month of January. He got Yelich and Lorenzo Cain on January 25th, 2018 and then he signed Yasmani Grandal in early January of 2019.
Who Is Left That Could Be A Big Splash?
The starting pitching market has been mostly picked over, and there aren’t any options out there that could remotely be considered a No. 1 or No. 2 starter. That leaves the trade market. Matthew Boyd and Robbie Ray seem to be the most available trade candidates and both could make sense for the Brewers to grab.
At third base, Josh Donaldson is the lone big fish remaining on that market. Reports say that Donaldson is going to get a four year deal and that might be a year too long for the Brewers, but perhaps Stearns could surprise us. On the trade market, Nolan Arenado and Kris Bryant appear to be available, but the contract for Arenado will be a sticking point and the Cubs, well, they just aren’t going to trade Kris Bryant to the Brewers for obvious reasons.
Of course there still is the possibility of a Josh Hader trade, which could bring back multiple good pieces to the roster, or possibly one great piece. Moving Hader would definitely count as a splash move, although not one typically a World Series contending team makes.
There’s still plenty of time to make moves, but as far as getting a big addition to the club that could actually make them more of a World Series threat, there aren’t that many options left.
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January is when Stearns has done his best work, so let’s see what he can whip up this time.