The Milwaukee Brewers bring back one of their top offensive performers down the stretch during the shortened 2020 season.
Rumors were that there would be plenty of deals being agreed upon across the league prior to MLB’s non-tender deadline. That has started off certainly being the case for the Brewers on Wednesday evening.
First, it was announced that shortstop Orlando Arcia would be taking a pay cut to stay with the Brewers. Then it broke that catcher Omar Narvaez would be doing the same. Now, it’s come out that Milwaukee will be retaining one of their more popular players from last season according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
Like Arcia, it’s reported that Daniel Vogelbach‘s contract for 2021 is also not guaranteed according to Robert Murray of FanSided. And though he’s not taking a pay cut from last year’s salary like Arcia and Narvaez, his reported $1.4MM deal puts him at the lowest end of his $1.4MM to $1.9MM arbitration projection from MLB Trade Rumors.
Vogelbach provided a huge injection of offense into a Milwaukee Brewers team that desperately needed it when he arrived in mid-2020 after the team designated Justin Smoak for assignment. Now he gets to prove whether he can sustain that level of success.
Though Daniel Vogelbach is set to return to the Brewers, that doesn’t mean their first base situation is solved.
Much of the talk of Milwaukee’s offseason needs revolve around them needing to upgrade both corner infield positions either through free agency or a trade. Vogelbach’s return helps, but doesn’t mean the Brewers won’t still address the first base position.
Of course if Vogelbach could just sustain his 2020 performance with the Brewers, no further help would be needed. The big lefty slashed .328/.418/.569 in 19 games with Milwaukee after being let go by both the Mariners and Blue Jays earlier in the year.
But outside of that and a hot first half of 2019 with the Mariners that helped earn him an All-Star bid that season, his major league results have mostly been disappointing, hence a .206/.332/.409 slash line for his career.
That’s where the non-guaranteed contract comes in, which helps in two ways. For one, if the Brewers do in fact decide to shopping for other first base options and find someone with a more reliable track record for a decent price, they can move on from Vogelbach easily.
Additionally, the Brewers and other NL teams are still waiting to find out whether the league will be bringing the universal DH back in 2021. Should that happen, they pretty much already have their new DH in the fold with Vogelbach.
For now, though, all that matters is that Vogelbach remains a Brewer. We’ll see who else remains that way by the end of the night.