When a 2019 All Star is available on a minor league contract just two years later, it’s worth it to take a flier on them. That’s exactly what the Milwaukee Brewers have just done.
Outfielder David Dahl, 27, has had an interesting last two years. After being named an All Star in 2019, finishing the year with a .302/.353/.524 slash line and 15 homers for the Colorado Rockies, Dahl had a horrific 2020 season (as did many others for that matter) and was subsequently non-tendered by the Rockies last winter after playing in just 24 games in 2020.
It was a move that surprised the rest of the league, especially given Dahl’s recent big league success and several more years of team control. The Texas Rangers were the team that signed Dahl for the 2021 season and he did not end up doing much better.
In 63 games for the Rangers, Dahl had 220 ABs, and posted a .210/.247/.322 slash line with just four home runs.
Injuries have been a major factor in Dahl’s decline in recent years, and the former first round pick hasn’t been able to recapture his high potential.
The Milwaukee Brewers have taken a flier on a low-risk, potentially high-reward player in signing outfielder David Dahl to a minor league contract.
The Rangers released Dahl two weeks ago, and he has found a new home with the Brewers, but more specifically with the Nashville Sounds.
Dahl will get an opportunity to work with the Brewers coaching staff in Triple-A to help maintain his health and find his swing again. This being a minor league contract eliminates any sort of urgency to get results at the big league level and will allow Dahl enough time to make the corrections he needs.
If the Brewers can get Dahl back to All-Star form, this is an incredible steal. Just two years ago if the Brewers wanted to acquire Dahl, it would’ve cost them an arm and a leg in price. Now they get him for essentially nothing, signing him two weeks after he became a free agent.
At the big league level, the Brewers outfield appears set with Christian Yelich, Lorenzo Cain, and Avisail Garcia playing mostly everyday, with Jackie Bradley Jr. and Tyrone Taylor also filling in. Barring something unexpected, there shouldn’t be a need for Dahl at the big league level for Milwaukee in 2021.
But next year might be a little different. There’s contract decisions to be made on Garcia and Bradley, and if one or both leave town, then an opportunity opens up for Dahl.
Dahl can be an All-Star caliber player when fully healthy. You can never have enough of those guys around. Acquiring proven All-Star caliber players in their physical prime years for essentially nothing is rarely ever an opportunity. When that opportunity does present itself, you have to take it, and that’s exactly what David Stearns and the Brewers did here.
Keep an eye on Dahl in Triple-A. He can put up some numbers if he’s fully healthy and if he starts performing well, he could push his way into an opportunity at the big league level.