The virtual Winter Meetings have officially begun and day one is in the books. In what is normally a loud and noisy day in terms of rumors and transactions, 2020’s version was the exact opposite.
The Brewers had some rumors they were specifically connected to. Ken Rosenthal reported they were among teams interested in Joc Pederson. Any other rumors didn’t specifically mention the Brewers, but they theoretically could be fits.
Of the rest of the rumors that did come out, there seemed be a theme on day one, which was recently non tendered starting pitchers drawing most of the interest.
Trevor Williams faced the Brewers a bunch of times as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Jose Urena was with the Marlins most recently.
Tyler Anderson, meanwhile, is an in-demand lefty option.
Although it is relatively early in the free agency period to begin with, starting pitchers have been the ones signing first. Robbie Ray was signed to a one year $8 MM deal with the Blue Jays, Mike Minor signed with the Royals, and Charlie Morton signed with the Braves.
A team can never have enough pitching. So while the Milwaukee Brewers can feel good about entering the year with aces Brandon Woodruff and Corbin Burnes, could they look to add Jose Urena, Trevor Williams, or Tyler Anderson?
At 29 years old and six years of MLB experience, Jose Urena has a 4.60 career ERA. He had back-to-back good season with the Marlins in 2017 and 2018 in which he had a 3.90 ERA in 343 innings pitched combined. Urena was projected to earn $3.8-4.2MM in arbitration in 2021. Given his struggles throughout the past two seasons, odds are he could sign near or under the latter half of $3.8MM.
Trevor Williams was non-tendered by the Pittsburgh Pirates, in which he enjoyed more downs than ups as a member of their starting rotation. Over the past four seasons his ERA’s from lowest to highest have gone: 3.11 (2018), 4.07 (2017), 5.38 (2019), 6.18 (2020). His career ERA stands at 4.43.
Left handed pitcher Tyler Anderson is most well known for his extended stint with the Colorado Rockies from 2016-2019 in which he had a 4.69 ERA in 71 starts. He logged 176 innings during the 2018 season. In 2020, he pitched for the Giants and had a 4.37 ERA in 11 starts. He was projected to earn $2.4-4.3MM in arbitration for the 2021 season.
Aside from these three free agent starters, RHP Sonny Gray of the Reds popped up in trade rumors today. In what looks like to be an effort to shed payroll after their aggressive and expensive 2019 offseason, Gray is being made available.
Gray has two guaranteed years left on his current contract with him being owed $10MM each of those years. When pitching up to his full capabilities, Gray could easily be worth every penny, but the Reds are likely not going to sell low on this pitcher. Since joining the Reds prior to the 2019 season Gray has a 3.07 ERA, averages 10.8 strikeouts per nine, and a 153 ERA+.
Gray would make for a strong three-headed monster in the Brewers rotation, but it would cost quite a bit in terms of prospect value for the Brewers to get him in a trade, especially with an in-division team.
The virtual winter meetings will resume tomorrow with hopefully an increased amount of transactions and rumors. Be sure to stay tuned to Reviewing the Brew as we continue to cover stories as they unfold.