Brewers: Is David Stearns done in free agency after signing Bradley Jr?
The Milwaukee Brewers made a free agency splash early Thursday with the signing of outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. This leaves fans wondering if David Stearns is done in free agency.
The short answer is probably. However don’t believe if there is a free agent available that president of baseball operations David Stearns thinks could be useful to the Brewers and is at the right price that Stearns would close the book completely on bringing someone else in.
For example, it was reported that the Milwaukee Brewers were one of a few teams that attended the Yoenis Cespedes free agency showcase. With the Jackie Bradley Jr. signing the next day dramatically reducing the need for another outfielder, Cespedes is unlikely to become a Brewer.
As far as pitching is concerned, the Milwaukee Brewers are all set, returning most of their pitching staff from a year ago. Stearns has already added a number of options to the staff, including Brad Boxberger, Jordan Zimmermann, and Blaine Hardy, The Brewers really only have to figure out who is in the starting rotation and who is in the bullpen, therefore highly unlikely that the Crew looks to add another pitcher unless a major injury occurs.
The only other position of chief concern currently is third base. The Milwaukee Brewers reunited with Travis Shaw this offseason in addition to having Luis Urias as the favorite to land the starting shortstop job, while Manager Craig Counsell has also said Orlando Arcia will play some third base in spring training.
The main remaining free agent that David Stearns could potentially look at bringing in is Maikel Franco. If Stearns feels that Orlando Arcia is not ready to be an every day third baseman and that Travis Shaw doesn’t have what it takes to get on the 40 man roster, Stearns could turn to the free agent Franco.
Maikel Franco turns 29 at the end of August, much younger than the previously mentioned Yoenis Cespedes. Last season for the Kansas City Royals Franco batted .278 with a .321 on base percentage and .457 slugging percentage. Those were pretty solid numbers for Franco yet he still remains without a job.
Another potential third base option would be Jedd Gyorko, who also still languishes on the free agent market after putting up a strong season in 2020. Perhaps the Brewers would be open to a reunion, but they seem content with their current Shaw/Arcia/Robertson group, so again, unless an injury occurs, a move appears unlikely.
In conclusion, David Stearns is likely done in free agency after the signing of Jackie Bradley Jr. barring an injury. An injury can put a hole in the roster where there wasn’t one before and depending on who it is, there may not be a capable replacement on the roster and a free agent addition would be necessary.