Brandon Belt – Giants
- Career (.262 AVG / .356 OBP / .815 OPS)
I don’t see first base being a position the Brewers will feel the need to go out and spend big on in free-agency, but the market usually dictates the club’s off-season plans. One player I feel like would be a great fit would be current Giants first basemen, Brandon Belt.
Belt is an approach-first bat who see’s a lot of pitches and would give a defensive improvement over at first base. His annual salary may be too much for the small-market Brewers (there’s also no indication the Giants won’t retain him), but his skill-set aligns with the team’s core values.
Plus, he’s been a pain in the neck for the Brewers this season, and if you can’t beat him, sign him.
1st baseman – Evan White – Mariners
- 70 grade glove
- Team friendly contract (6 years /$24 million) – contract runs through 2025 then 3 club options that could push the deal to 2028.
- Intriguing underlying numbers
- Career (.165 batting average / .544 OPS)
For a club like the Brewers that’s built around pitching, it might not be the worst idea to kick the tires on a defense first player with some good underlying hitting numbers. Evan White skipped AAA altogether and has had a rough go of it to begin his major league career.
While it’s unlikely the Mariners are willing to move on from a young player they made an long-term investment in – Milwaukee does have a good track record when dealing with their front office. White is absolutely a gamble, but one that comes with plus defense – something the Brewers haven’t had at the position in a while.
I think what you’ll see is Milwaukee turn to an internal option such as Rowdy Tellez or Keston Hiura in 2022 – possibly a combination of sorts. Both players present upside that’s also cost effective for the small market Brewers. The only downside to this option is what you give up on the defensive side, but that’s an area that both players are capable of improvement with a full offseason to prepare.
First base has been a carousel for Milwaukee for a long time. Hopefully they can put an end to that soon, and maybe one of these guys is the solution.