Well, this is unexpected. The Brewers reportedly have interest in adding an infielder, but not at the position you would expect.
According to Ken Rosenthal, the Milwaukee Brewers have interest in signing former Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong to a contract.
Rosenthal reported the news Wednesday afternoon.
Wong has been a thorn in the Brewers side for a number of years with the Cardinals, hitting .282 with a .781 OPS in 111 games against the Crew over the last eight seasons.
Overall, Wong has a career 94 OPS+, which is below league average, but he generally hits for a decent batting average and doesn’t strike out very much. He also provides Gold Glove defense at second base, winning the award each of the past two seasons.
Adding Kolten Wong would give the Brewers Gold Glove defense at second base, which is something the Brewers are currently lacking with the incumbent Keston Hiura.
So then that begs the question.
What Does This Mean For Keston Hiura?
The Brewers have a very strong hitter at second base already in Hiura and while Wong is a defensive upgrade at the position, he’s not likely to be an offensive upgrade. Both are starting caliber players, so what would happen to Hiura if a deal happens?
Well, Hiura would likely move to first base, a position the Brewers have previously discussed moving him to.
Moving Hiura to first base would solve the offensive issues the Brewers currently have at that position, as his on-base ability and power potential should give Hiura the ability to hold his own there offensively. He struggled in 2020 offensively, but should be able to bounce back.
Hiura’s struggles throwing the baseball are quite obvious, and putting him at first base means he shouldn’t have to throw the ball much at all. He isn’t very tall, standing at just 5’11”, which isn’t ideal for a first baseman.
It remains to be seen what kind of a contract Wong would demand, and if he’d accept a one year deal. It would be a little bit of sweet revenge to take Wong from the Cardinals after they essentially stole Nolan Arenado from the Rockies.
Wong would certainly improve the Crew’s defense up the middle but it would lead to some interesting and unorthodox roster construction as the Crew would likely be dependent on players with little or no first base experience holding down such an important position.
Trust in Stearns, and see what happens.