1B/3B Jedd Gyorko
The Brewers just declined Jedd Gyorko’s option when a lot of people thought he deserved to get it picked up. He was very productive for the Brewers and a nice surprise after the offense was almost nowhere to be found. He emerged when Justin Smoak and Logan Morrison fell flat. If the Brewers can re-sign him for $2MM instead of $4.5MM, I am sure they will jump on it.
Gyorko ended the 2020 season with a .248 batting average, nine home runs, 17 RBIs and a .838 OPS. Those numbers don’t scream excitement, but Gyorko was second on the team in batting average, third in home runs, and fifth in RBIs.
My guess is they will try to go after an infielder like Carlos Santana or DJ LeMahieu. But, if the contracts or offers get out of their price range depending on how the first few free agent signings go, Milwaukee might pull back and make a bunch of smaller signings again.
No one would be thrilled with that. But with the team salary expected to drop, the Brewers probably won’t be able to sign a big name first baseman, third baseman and starting pitcher. Gyorko would be a younger option and cheaper option than Santana. Plus, re-signing Gyorko would make fans happy.
Baseball is still business, and nowhere does it say that Gyorko deserves to be signed because fans liked him and he had a decent year. But it also wouldn’t hurt to have a solid player to help out at first and third base. He has shown he can be an everyday starter when needed.
UTIL Chris Owings
Chris Owings turns just 30 next year, and made less than $600,000 last season with the Colorado Rockies. Could he be another cheap option like Brock Holt or Eric Sogard that doesn’t pan out? Absolutely. But, Owings had a .757 OPS last year and a solid performance back in 2017 with 25 doubles, 12 home runs and 51 RBIs. He could have another solid year in the right circumstances.
Does he solve the problems Milwaukee has when they need an everyday first and third baseman? No. But, he is a cheap option to provide infield depth at shortstop and third base. If the Brewers spend some money on starting pitching and first base, Owings is a perfect fit to fill in if Luis Urias is going to get a chance as a starter over at the corner. He will probably have to compete with Jace Peterson, but here’s to wishful thinking.
You are probably thinking that it would just be easier to re-sign Eric Sogard because fans are familiar with him. But, Owings would come a lot cheaper and is five years younger. Age isn’t everything, but it does help when you are looking for a solid utility infielder. I think giving some fresh blood a chance would help solidify Milwaukee’s bench alongside some youth.