The 2020 – 2021 MLB offseason is starting to wind down. Arbitration is settled. Pitchers and catchers report in a month. This offseason is different than other years, but the Milwaukee Brewers need to complete their roster for 2021 season.
The Brewers haven’t had a whole lot of turnover from last season. Their biggest missing piece is Ryan Braun. There is no word on if he will return or not, but it’s starting to look like he might not be back.
It would be easy for Milwaukee to bring back a couple players from the 2020 season not on the current roster. These guys played well, were great clubhouse guys and fans would welcome them back with open arms. Let’s bring back Jedd Gyorko and Brett Anderson.
There is still time for the Brewers to reunite with Jedd Gyorko. But where would he fit in Milwaukee’s roster plans?
Gyorko returning to the Brewers is less likely after this week, but nothing is set in stone yet.
Milwaukee signed utility infielder Daniel Robertson to a major league contract and signed 2020 Brewer Jace Peterson as well as ex-Pirate Pablo Reyes to minor league deals. All three could compete for third base and infield depth. Does that leave room for Gyorko?
The thing that gives him a chance is the possible hole at first base. Daniel Vogelbach is currently the only true first baseman signed. Jacob Nottingham has played a little bit of first base, but he is also recovering from thumb surgery.
In Adam McCalvy’s inbox article on MLB.com this week, David Stearns stated that Vogelbach is best suited for DH. That is still up in the air for the National League, but ideally the Brewers would like to see him as DH instead of the everyday first baseman.
Would Gyorko be interested in returning? The Brewers declined his $4.5MM option to return. He did get a $1MM buyout, but it’s probably not easy to be declined a contract and come back for a lower deal. One would hope the Brewers explained their situation and strategy going into the offseason, but MLB is still a business. We are now inching closer to Opening Day, so a one-year contract worth a few million might be enough to return to Milwaukee.
Jedd ended with a .248 batting average, but ended the 2020 season with new career highs in several categories including walk rate and slugging percentage. He finished in the top three for home runs for the team, and had an OPS over .800. He became one of the only bright spots after a struggling year for the offense and a rotating infield.
First base ended up working for the final stretch of 2020 with Gyorko and Vogelbach. There wouldn’t be much complaining if the duo came back together for 2021.
Meanwhile, the Brewers could also use a veteran presence added to their rotation. A Brett Anderson reunion could solve that.
The Brewers really should add a piece to their starting rotation. Pitchers report in less than 30 days. What is in Milwaukee’s favor is that there are a lot of solid starting pitchers still available.
Jake Odorizzi, Jose Quintana, Mike Fiers, Taijuan Walker, Chris Archer, J.A. Happ and Trevor Williams are just a few of the pitchers who are still free agents. Corey Kluber just signed with the New York Yankees, which might open the floodgates for pitching deals.
If the Brewers aren’t going to spend some money on a pitcher like Odorizzi or Walker, there should be no reason why they can’t bring back Brett Anderson for another year.
Anderson signed a one year, $5MM deal with the Crew for the 2020 season. A blister on his finger unfortunately removed him from the beginning and end of the season. Brett had a record of 4-4 with an ERA of 4.21 over 47 innings. He had pretty solid starts, usually going around five to six innings.
His 4.21 ERA was a little high, but it was a smaller sample size and didn’t get a full year on the mound. With one of the best bullpens in baseball, a pitcher like Anderson would help the Brewers quite a bit.
The Brewers could bring him back on another year deal and include a mutual option. A one-year, $3.75MM deal with incentives should be appealing for most starting pitchers right now, especially with so many still unsigned.
So what are the chances that the Brewers bring back either one of these 2020 contributors?
The Brewers could still make a trade or a splash with bigger free agent signings, but that hasn’t been their M.O. lately. I would love to have Walker on the mound and Mitch Moreland at first. But if the team is worried about overall team salary, it should be easy to bring back two 2020 season contributors.
It also doesn’t hurt that Gyorko’s bags videos are absolutely dynamite, and Anderson’s sarcastic tweets are a must-follow. They just fit as part of the Milwaukee Brewer. So what are they waiting for?