After Wednesday’s non-tender deadline, the free agent market saw an influx of outfield talent. These players appear to make sense for the Brewers and could fill a roster spot come Opening Day 2021.
There was a flurry of roster moves Wednesday night, as the Brewers, among other teams, made the final decision on which arbitration eligible players would be tendered a contract for 2021. Those who were not tendered, now enter the free agent market. Among those are many quality outfielders.
With the departure of Ryan Braun, and Ben Gamel being non-tendered, the Brewers have six outfielders on the 40-man roster. Christian Yelich, Lorenzo Cain, and Avisail Garcia appear to be the starters, with Corey Ray, Tyrone Taylor, and Billy McKinney expected to compete for the additional spots on Milwaukee’s 26-man roster.
David Stearns has not been afraid to add outside talent, famously adding Yelich and Cain the same January evening. He also signed Avisail Garcia last offseason, when the Brewers had Yelich, Cain, Braun, and Gamel on the roster.
Here are a couple of recently non-tendered outfielders that make sense for the Brewers to pursue.
Once a highly touted prospect, Kyle Schwarber struggled in 2020. Entering his age-28 season, Schwarber has solidified his spot in Chicago lore, as well as an offense first, defense secondary player.
Schwarber anchored left field for the Cubs in 2020, struggling immensely, as he hit .188/.308/.393, and produced 0.4 fWAR. However, his exit velocity was in the 95th percentile, his hard hit % was the 86th percentile, and his Barrel % was in the 75th percentile.
His defensive outs above average placed him in the 2nd percentile.
Schwarber was projected to earn around $8MM per MLB Trade Rumors, and that price point would make him untouchable for the Brewers. But, there are writers who believe Schwarber could be a target.
The numbers on Schwarber do not look good, but he hits the ball hard, and in the launch angle era, that is the most important part. If MLB ever gives an answer on the 2021 DH, it is possible to see Schwarber split time between the outfield and as DH in Milwaukee, and be a solid additional outfielder for Milwaukee.