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The Top 5 Roster Moves The Milwaukee Brewers Made In 2021

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - SEPTEMBER 24: Willy Adames #27 of the Milwaukee Brewers hits a solo home run in the third inning against the New York Mets at American Family Field on September 24, 2021 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - SEPTEMBER 24: Willy Adames #27 of the Milwaukee Brewers hits a solo home run in the third inning against the New York Mets at American Family Field on September 24, 2021 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /
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MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – OCTOBER 09: Brad Boxberger #45 of the Milwaukee Brewers watches the game from the bullpen during game 2 of the National League Division Series at American Family Field on October 09, 2021 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Braves defeated the Brewers 3-0. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /

Brewers #4 Best Move Of 2021: Signing Brad Boxberger As A Free Agent

Remember when Brad Boxberger didn’t make the Brewers Opening Day roster because the roster math just didn’t work out? Yeah, luckily the Brewers were able to sign Boxberger back on a minors deal and remedy that situation quickly, because he was a key piece of this Milwaukee bullpen all season long.

The 33 year old Boxberger set a new career high in appearances with 71 of them in 2021 for the Crew. He became the trusted 7th inning setup man for Craig Counsell, helping bridge the gap from the starting rotation to Devin Williams in the 8th and Josh Hader in the 9th.

Boxberger finished the year with a 3.34 ERA in 64.2 IP with 83 strikeouts. For what was essentially a ‘scrap heap’ signing before spring training, it’s hard to imagine the Brewers having such a successful season without him being there. For most of the season, the bullpen depth was pretty shallow, and they needed more arms down there all season long. Without Boxberger, that situation would’ve been much worse.

Granted, if the Brewers didn’t sign Boxberger right before spring training, Stearns and the front office likely were going to sign someone else. But, when they released him at the end of camp, he could’ve gone anywhere. They almost made a horrible mistake. If he signed with someone else at the end of camp, it would’ve been incredibly difficult to find another replacement, especially one that would’ve performed as well as Boxberger did.

With Boxberger’s previous experience as a closer, his veteran leadership was invaluable in that bullpen with a lot of young arms.

Boxberger makes this list over the honorable mention in Strickland because he was with the team all season long, led the pitching staff in appearances, and was consistently in a higher-leverage role.

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