Brewers: 3 Free Agent First Basemen The Brewers Need To Sign

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 07: C.J. Cron #26 of the Detroit Tigers in action during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on August 7, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 07: C.J. Cron #26 of the Detroit Tigers in action during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on August 7, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /
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PITTSBURGH, PA – AUGUST 07: C.J. Cron #26 of the Detroit Tigers in action during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on August 7, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

2. C.J. Cron

Despite taking on a sort of journeyman role, playing for four different teams over the last four seasons, C.J. Cron could be a great fit with the Milwaukee Brewers.

A right-handed hitter, Cron could platoon well with Daniel Vogelbach at first base and provide just as much power to the lineup.

From 2015-17 with the Angels, Cron consistently hit 16 homers a season while being kept in a part-time role since Albert Pujols was also in LA. After moving around to Tampa Bay and Minnesota and getting more playing time, his power numbers increased as well, hitting 30 homers with the Rays and 25 homers with the Twins.

In 2020, Cron signed with the Tigers but only played 13 games before missing the rest of the season due to knee surgery. He was off to a great start, hitting four home runs in those 13 games with an .894 OPS.

Cron is going to turn 31 years old in January, so he’s not old enough to have to worry much about a decline like with Daniel Murphy.

In his career, Cron is a .257 hitter with 118 homers, a .776 OPS and 111 OPS+.

He’ll likely strike out somewhere between 20-25% of the time, which isn’t too bad for a power hitter like Cron. He was up around 30% in 2020, but with such a small sample size, it’s hard to put much stock into that. His career strikeout rate is at 22.5%, which is easier to handle.

Cron doesn’t have much positional versatility, only playing first base or DH, but he has +7 Defensive Runs Saved at first in his career.

Another one year deal for Cron would be the likely outcome this offseason. He signed for $6.1MM with the Tigers in 2020 and given that he’s coming off knee surgery, that number is likely to decrease in 2021.

Perhaps the Brewers could bring Cron in on a one year, $4-5MM contract to be a stopgap at the first base position, and possibly be a platoon partner for Vogelbach, but Cron can handle everyday first base responsibilities.

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