Brewers: Busy Month Ahead For David Stearns In January
The Brewers offseason has been slow going so far. But that’s going to change soon.
Despite moving at a glacial pace, the MLB offseason is going to pick up in January. With the lack of certainty surrounding the 2021 season, teams have been hesitant to make moves. But there should be some more clarity on it coming this month and with spring training currently six weeks away, the Brewers should be making some moves soon.
Last year, Brewers President of baseball ops David Stearns made a flurry of signings in mid-December and January was relatively quiet. This year, December was mostly quiet and January is going to have to be the month when everything happens.
To date, the only moves Stearns has made regarding the major league roster was signing Luke Maile to a one year, $825k contract to be a backup catcher, trade Corey Knebel to the Dodgers, and non-tender a couple of fringe roster players.
Things To Do
There really shouldn’t be any concern about the Brewers’ inactivity so far. Most of the market has been inactive, save for the Padres. NL Central teams like the Cubs, Cardinals, and Reds have made bigger sell-offs than what the Brewers did with Knebel and all of them appear to be taking major steps back in terms of payroll.
The Brewers will also be taking a step back budget-wise, but their step will be much smaller than what those other three teams are doing.
Stearns still needs a solution at third base, unless he really wants to keep Luis Urias over there, but while that may help their defense, it doesn’t solve their power deficiency. They need power in the corner infield to inject into their lineup, so there’s a major hole at third base, and there’s a hole at first base.
Daniel Vogelbach is a decent stand-in for now, but he’s likely to need a platoon partner and the Brewers will need someone else who’s a strong defender at that position. There is currently no one else on the roster to help at that position.
Someone will have to signed or traded for to fill those holes in the infield. However, that market has been stagnant, mostly due to the fact that the Universal DH is still up in the air. Teams have been told to operate as if it won’t be there and a deal can’t be reached, but most still expect it to happen.
Since most of the corner infield market can also profile as a DH, it makes sense why teams are holding off on signing them until there’s more clarity on the rule and why players are holding off on signing until they know how many teams might be in the market for them.
MLB should’ve had the DH situation straightened out months ago, but instead here we are.
The Brewers could also stand to add a veteran pitcher. The player with the most big league experience on this pitching staff is currently Brent Suter with 3.161 years of MLB service time, followed closely by Josh Hader with 3.115 years of service. They are the only players with more than three years at the big league level.
Don’t be afraid that the Brewers aren’t making moves quickly to “capitalize” on the Cubs trading away Yu Darvish or the Reds trading Raisel Iglesias. This isn’t July, there’s no deadline here that needs to be quickly acted upon. The only “deadline” is the beginning of spring training, which is currently scheduled for mid-February and six weeks away.
Stearns has a lot of roster building left to do, and January is going to be the month that it gets done. Players will be motivated to sign with spring training inching closer.
Remember, the Brewers didn’t land Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain until January 25th in the 2017-18 offseason.
There will be plenty of things left to happen and January will be when they happen.
Stearns typically strikes without any warning or rumors leaking out. We should expect more of the same this year.