Batting Fifth: 1B C.J. Cron
Here’s our first free agent addition to the lineup. With Vogelbach taking up the DH spot, the Brewers need someone at first base and C.J. Cron is an everyday option that provides power and hitting ability.
In 2018, Cron hit .253 with 30 home runs for the Tampa Bay Rays. Then in 2019 with the Minnesota Twins, Cron hit .253 again with 25 home runs.
For 2020, Cron signed with the Tigers and had four home runs through the first 13 games of the season, which was a great pace. But unfortunately a knee injury ended his 2020 season early and we didn’t get a bigger sample size this year.
However, the Brewers should have a big enough sample size from the previous few seasons to know that Cron has a solid hitting ability and plenty of power. Cron is another guy capable of hitting 30 home runs a season. As previously stated, you can never have enough guys that can hit 30 homers a season in your lineup. Yelich, Hiura, Vogey, and Cron all have that potential and would be a dangerous middle of the order.
To make this happen, the Brewers would need to sign Cron first, obviously. He’s likely to be signed on a one year deal this winter given that’s what he’s been under the past couple of seasons and he’s coming off a knee injury.
Cron signed for $6.1MM with the Tigers last year and the cost could be similar or slightly lower for 2021 because of that injury and how the marketplace is shaking out. Even if he does cost a little more, he’ll be well worth it over the other options. Cron has a higher floor and higher ceiling than Justin Smoak or other similar options on the market.
Could Stearns look again at a one year deal with a club option for a second season? It certainly wouldn’t be surprising if they tried that with Cron.
He’d be the perfect free agent fit from this class and he’d fit right into the fifth spot in the order as a right handed power hitter behind the left-handed Vogelbach.