Budget, Staff, Injuries
There’s some good news and bad news in this section. The good news is, no players are currently scheduled to undergo any offseason surgery.
With Corbin Burnes and Devin Williams missing the end of the year after suffering injuries, there might have been some concern from fans but they both will be able to recover with some rest and rehab. No one will have to go under the knife this offseason.
Another point that Stearns addresses nearly every end-of-season press conference is whether or not the whole coaching staff will return for next year. Well, that’s up in the air as of right now.
Pay close attention to the end of that sentence. The “at this point” means they’re still considering changes and one of those changes under consideration is most likely the hitting coach position.
It’s no secret that the Brewers offense struggled in 2020. How much of that is to blame on hitting coach Andy Haines? How much is to blame on the hitters? Did Haines suggest adjustments that the players didn’t listen to or were the adjustments implemented and simply backfired?
The Brewers are going to take some time to figure that out at least. They don’t want to make any rash decisions, especially off a shortened season, but they may decide they need a change.
However, Haines is still close with superstar Christian Yelich and their relationship may prove to be extremely important going forward.
The bad news in this section is regarding the budget.
Will the budget be tighter? “Oh yeah” is essentially Stearns’ response. He’s not going to publicly say that, but it’s incredibly likely.
The Brewers lost money, even with fans, in 2019. Without fans in 2020, the Brewers lost even more. After two straight years of losing money, it’s doubtful that the Brewers are going to be big money spenders and jack up the payroll going into 2021.
At the very least, Braun’s contract is up and that frees up a lot more money off the books heading into next year, whether Braun returns or not. If Braun does come back, it’ll be on a much smaller deal that’ll be more equivalent to what he’s worth on the field at this point in his career.
Stearns might end up having to move some money off the books this winter in order to gain some more flexibility in the payroll and in the roster. It might not be very eventful with big signings and instead simply looking for the current hitters to turn things around in a full season next year.