Over the past few offseasons, baseball news has typically been pretty slow this time of the year. In 2022 we find ourselves in a unique, but similar situation. The MLB owners and MLPA are currently in a lockout and no major league transactions can occur, which really makes news hard to come by.
With that being said, a large portion of moves were made by multiple teams pre-lockout, the Brewers included. This includes decisions on arbitration eligible players and a few low key signings. Additionally, they made a few trades including one with the Rays to acquire infielder Mike Brosseau and another, in surprising fashion, with the Red Sox to bring in outfielder Hunter Renfroe.
A vast majority of the Brewers core players are under club control for multiple seasons. This has opened up a window in which the Brewers are expected to be competitive for several more years. However, contracts do expire and team control does not last forever.
Let’s take a look at all of the Brewers players whose deals will end upon the conclusion of the 2022 season. The three players are: Lorenzo Cain, Omar Narvaez, and Jace Peterson.
Lorenzo Cain is entering the final year of his 5 year, $80MM deal. He is set to make $18MM in 2022 and is coming off an injury filled 2021 season. Last year he played in 78 games, finished with a 95 OPS+, and was again stellar defensively as he often times put his body on the line to make incredible plays in the outfield. Cain will turn 36 in April, so load management will likely be used with him again during the 2022 season.
In December of 2019 the Brewers traded for Omar Narvaez. Fast forward to 2022, and he is coming off an All-Star 2021 year while also entering his final year of arbitration. He was tendered a contract earlier this offseason, but no deal has been struck due to the lockout. It is possible that the Brewers elect to extend him this spring given his strong play.
On base Jace was surprisingly tendered a contract in December as well. The move was rather unexpected for the Brewers previously traded for Mike Brosseau, who is expected to play a similar super utility role. Peterson did have a few hot streaks offensively last year, so he should be able to find meaningful ways to help the Brewers in 2022.
The fact that only three players will be free agent eligible after next season is incredible. As mentioned it should allow for the Brewers core to remain intact and for the team to remain competitive.