At the end of every season, Brewers GM David Stearns has a press conference with reporters about the results from the year and the upcoming offseason.
Brewers GM David Stearns normally keeps things pretty close to the vest. He doesn’t show his hand and has everyone thinking he’s got nothing until all of a sudden he lays down a straight flush. He never directly answers questions about possible player personnel moves until they happen. B
But his yearly end-of-season press conference is where we can build a framework of what he might be thinking heading into the offseason and get an idea of what might happen to the roster over the next few months.
Let’s take a look at some of his comments from Monday and try to make some sense out of it.
Stearns on Ryan Braun
Naturally, with Ryan Braun‘s contract status and desire to play next year up in the air, Stearns was questioned about when the Brewers can expect a decision from Braun and what that decision might be.
David Stearns expects Ryan Braun to wait until the New Year to make his decision about playing in 2021.
— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) October 5, 2020
By the looks of it, Braun is going to take some time to make his decision and will wait perhaps even three months before he makes the final call. His mutual option will have to be declined by that point and he would be due a $4MM buyout.
Braun is going to spend the next few months at home with his wife and three kids. If his back and everything holds up, there’s a chance he’ll want to play again, but we’ll have to wait a while for that decision.
This may end up causing the Brewers to wait on certain moves this winter. With current uncertainty around the DH’s future in the NL for 2021, perhaps Braun is waiting for that news, whenever it comes down. Either way, if Braun decides to return, the Brewers might not need to grab another outfielder, but if he doesn’t return, they may look to get someone off the market.
The longer Braun waits, the greater the chance that whatever target the Brewers may have in mind could get signed by somebody else. This will be a case to keep an eye on for sure.
As Stearns also mentioned, there’s going to be a lot of uncertainty this offseason that even he is going to deal with. After a shortened season and no real minor leagues to work off of, trades and free agent signings will be hard to complete and truly know if it’s a good deal. Just like the trade deadline this year, teams are going to be fairly cautious, especially with top prospects.