Brewers: Avisail Garcia Hits Mutual Option Threshold, Can Become Free Agent

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - SEPTEMBER 20: Avisail Garcia #24 of the Milwaukee Brewers hits a solo home run in the second inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at American Family Field on September 20, 2021 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - SEPTEMBER 20: Avisail Garcia #24 of the Milwaukee Brewers hits a solo home run in the second inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at American Family Field on September 20, 2021 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /
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The Milwaukee Brewers signed Avisail Garcia to a two year, $20MM contract in the winter prior to the 2020 season. In that contract, there was a club option for a third year at $12MM, but that option could turn into a mutual option if Garcia had 1,050 plate appearances combined in the two seasons.

With a week and a half remaining in the season, Avisail Garcia has reached the plate appearances necessary to turn that contract option into a mutual decision.

In the shortened season last year, numbers were multiplied by 2.7 to get to a projection of what the numbers would be after a 162 game season instead of a 60 game season. That would give him 558 plate appearances last year. After last night, he’s at 492 plate appearances in 2021. Add that up, and you get 1,050.

Poetically enough, Garcia hit this threshold on the at-bat where he hit his career-high 29th home run of the season.

What does this mutual option mean for Avisail Garcia and the Milwaukee Brewers?

While Garcia had a fairly unproductive 2020, he’s gotten going again in 2021 and has put up a career year with some monster numbers. He’s hitting .270/.337/.506 with a 122 OPS+, a career-high 29 homers, a career-high 84 RBIs, and tied for a career high with 36 walks.

At 30 years old, Garcia could choose to either return to the Brewers off a career year with a $12MM salary, and three other highly paid outfielders under contract (Christian Yelich, Lorenzo Cain, and Jackie Bradley Jr) or he could become a free agent, and try to secure a multi-year pact for a much larger salary.

In all likelihood, Garcia is going to decline his end of the mutual option and enter free agency. There’s a chance the Brewers could sign him back if he does, but with those three aforementioned outfielders under big contracts as well, that will be difficult to do.

The Brewers no longer retain total control over the decision to bring Garcia back or not. Garcia will want the payday he has earned, and the Brewers may not be the team to pay it.

With several top outfield prospects working their way through the minor league system right now, a long-term deal with Garcia would only serve to block their potential opportunities in the future.

It seems a miscarriage of justice that the Brewers would end up having to lose the productive outfielder in Garcia but are unable to part ways with the unproductive JBJ. But that’s the way things go sometimes.

Next. Despite Struggles, JBJ Showing Value With Defense. dark

This outfield may need some retooling this offseason if Garcia opts to leave. If anyone is up for retooling an outfield, it’s David Stearns.

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