The Brewers will need some help at first base in 2021 and these free agents could help.
But who can they get?
There aren’t really any high-profile first basemen on the market, especially after Carlos Santana signed with the Royals.
However, there are still some options that could help out this Brewers offense. The only current option the Brewers have is Daniel Vogelbach and he’s more of a designated hitter than he is a first baseman. Even if the Brewers wanted to put him there, they need someone else to pair with him.
If the Brewers do go the free agent route to fix this hole instead of the trade route, here are three players who need to look at signing.
1. Daniel Murphy
Here’s a previously productive yet possibly past his prime option. Daniel Murphy has been one of the best contact hitters in the league over the last 6 years or so. But despite heading to Colorado in 2019, his batting average dropped to .279 and his OPS+ dropped from 107 to 88 from 2018 to 2019.
Murphy’s power numbers took a bit of a slide and he only hit three home runs in 40 games for the Rockies in 2020. Perhaps his down numbers in 2020 can be attributed to the weirdness of the season, but Murphy is heading into his age-36 season and decline is a possibility.
A stop in Miller Park might jolt his offensive numbers back up for a career resurgence. In 125 career ABs in Milwaukee, Murphy has a .296/.376/.456 slash line with three homers and 11 RBIs.
Murphy was primarily a second baseman earlier in his career but has made the full-time switch over to first base as he’s gotten older. In parts of 10 seasons at first, Murphy has a net +21 DRS, by far his best defensive position.
He can handle the role and if the Brewers believe there still is something in that bat where he can be productive regular with some pop, he would be a good short-term fix in Milwaukee. With his left-handed swing, Murphy could thrive.
This move might feel a little like Justin Smoak last year, but Murphy has a longer track record of success and a much higher ceiling and much higher floor than Smoak ever had.