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Milwaukee Brewers 2020-2021 Complete Offseason Preview

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 20: Manager Craig Counsell #30 of the Milwaukee Brewers looks on against the Minnesota Twins on August 20, 2020 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 20: Manager Craig Counsell #30 of the Milwaukee Brewers looks on against the Minnesota Twins on August 20, 2020 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /
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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – AUGUST 16: Manny Pina #9 and Josh Hader #71 of the Milwaukee Brewers celebrate a 6-5 win over the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on August 16, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /

Brewers Arbitration Eligibles (11)

Manny Pina, Corey Knebel, Alex Claudio, Jace Peterson, Omar Narvaez, Orlando Arcia, Ryon Healy, Josh Hader, Brandon Woodruff, Daniel Vogelbach, Ben Gamel

Manny Pina, Corey Knebel, and Alex Claudio are all entering their final year of arbitration. Pina is going to be entering his age-34 season and is coming off knee surgery. He was the best offensive performing catcher the Brewers had in 2020 and is likely to be tendered.

The Brewers face tougher decisions with Knebel and Claudio. Knebel has been at a $5.125MM salary the last two years since he underwent elbow surgery in spring 2019. He came back in 2020, but while he showed flashes of his old self, he didn’t quite maintain that level of performance and was not among the trusted late inning arms for Craig Counsell this year.

Being another year removed from surgery should help Knebel in 2021, but would the Brewers be willing to pay over five million dollars for him coming off a year with little to no revenue? They probably should, and getting Knebel at his best self for that kind of salary is actually a good deal.

Last year, the Brewers non-tendered Claudio and then re-signed him later in the offseason to avoid having to go through the arbitration process. After another season with an ERA over 4.00, they might be inclined to non-tender him again and this time they may not re-sign him.

Jace Peterson somehow worked walks at an incredibly high clip in 2020, which is how he ended up with a .200/.393/.356 slash line. In 61 plate appearances, Peterson walked 15 times and got just nine hits. Despite the high OBP, the Brewers should non-tender him and look for better production elsewhere.

Omar Narvaez presents a tough decision for Brewers brass. On one hand, Narvaez improved a lot defensively this year and has a track record over several years as a strong hitter. On the other hand, he was a complete black hole on offense this year and a lot of analytics measurements don’t hold Narvaez in high regard. Narvaez had a $2.725MM salary for 2020 and should he get tendered a contract, he’s not likely to get much of a raise.

Orlando Arcia had to finally fight for his job this year, and he put up a pretty strong fight. Arcia finished with a .260/.317/.416 slash line and five homers. His .734 OPS this year was the best of his career. He’s likely to get tendered this offseason, especially after Luis Urias struggled offensively down the stretch.

Ryon Healy only played in four regular season games, had just one hit in seven at-bats, and was inexplicably the choice to bat cleanup in Game 2 of the Wild Card series. Even in a year where the Brewers got no offensive production out of the corner infield, Healy couldn’t crack the roster as a corner infielder. He’s a likely non-tender.

Josh Hader will enter his second year of arbitration and is an easy call to tender. Brandon Woodruff will go into arbitration for the first time and he’s also an easy decision to tender.

Daniel Vogelbach is eligible now as a Super-Two player and Ben Gamel has a club option for next year, but if that gets declined, he’s still arbitration eligible.

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