The Brewers have an immense roster turnover of the past several seasons. Some of the players who the Brewers have let go could have played important roles on the roster this season.
The team would likely be better if these three players were still with the Brewers.
The Brewers’ revolving door of first basemen has not been solved for the past decade. Even as Jesus Aguilar seems to have found a home in Miami after the trade to Tampa, the Brewers have yet to find a solution to first base on their roster.
Rowdy Tellez had a solid run in the second half of the season, but profiles more in a platoon role than in an everyday role. Keston Hiura remains a mystery as to what he will look like when the 2022 season starts, and where he will play as David Stearns said he will see time in the outfield.
Since leaving Milwaukee, Aguilar has a 113 wRC+ with an .890 OPS, both of which would have been welcome additions to a Brewers team that struggled to get anything going the past two seasons. A reunion could have happened this season, but ultimately the Marlins held onto Aguilar. Especially considering Jacob Faria is no longer with the club, that trade seems like a bust, and Aguilar was both a great first baseman, and a great teammate to have in the clubhouse.
One of the misfires that Stearns made this season was designating Phil Bickford for assignment to bring Zack Godley to Milwaukee. Bickford was cut loose after only 2 innings in the Majors, and as a former first round talent. Los Angeles claimed Bickford and he has been a solid contributor to their bullpen, pitching 50.1 innings with a striking out 29.5% of all batter K/9, and a 2.50 ERA.
Godley on the other hand pitched 3.1 innings for Milwaukee. The Brewers always have a plethora of bullpen arms, but having Bickford in the fold as well might not have been the worst thing to happen, especially given the bullpen’s struggles down the stretch.
Trent Grisham has had a solid start to his career in San Diego, and of course was part of the trade that brought Eric Lauer and Luis Urias to Milwaukee. Every game that trade seemed to tilt more and more to Milwaukee’s favor as both Urias and Lauer had breakout seasons. However, it is difficult to see the Brewers still having the same outfield logjam they currently have had Grisham still been on the team.
Grisham ended the 2021 season with 2.1 fWAR, and a 103 wRC+, to go with a .327 OBP and .413 SLG, that slugging percentage was higher than Yelich, Cain, and Bradley Jr this season. Ultimately the Brewers seems quite happy with the steps taken by Urias and Lauer, so I doubt Stearns would want to cancel out this trade, but Grisham would have provided more stability in the outfield over the past two seasons than the Brewers ended up having.
Losing each of these players hurt in various ways, but the Brewers still would’ve probably liked to have all three of them still on their roster through 2021.