Lastly, we will take a look at which players have club options for the 2023 season. In this group there are two major contributors in which one is a pitcher and the other is a position player. Those players are Brad Boxberger and Kolten Wong.
Upcoming Brewers Club Options.
Prior to the start of the 2021 season, the Brewers signed Boxberger to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training. He did not make the big league roster out of camp, but by less than two weeks into the regular season he was back pitching in the big leagues for the Crew.
In 2021, Boxberger made a career high 71 appearances, which led the team by a large margin. At seasons end he elected free agency and ultimately re-signed with the Brewers in March. This year he has again been a consistent arm out of the bullpen and has compiled 26 holds on the year, but Craig Counsell has been more conscientious regarding his usage rate.
Boxberger’s deal in March of 2022 inked him a $1.75MM salary this season and a $3.00MM option for 2023. Given his dependability and the fact that he isn’t being overtaxed with game opportunities, one would think that the Brewers could lean towards picking up this club option.
2022 has been a bit of a rollercoaster for the former two time Gold Glove second baseman Kolten Wong. He started the year off rather slowly. Defensively he was making more errors than normal and wasn’t delivering on the plays we grew accustomed to him making. Offensively he had just a .227 batting average and .695 OPS at the All-Star Break.
In the second half, he has played more up to his high defensive standards and has been swinging a hot bat. His post-All-Star Break slash line is .286/.370/.484/.854. His wRC+ now sits at 110, which is exactly equivalent to his 2021 wCR+.
This does put the Brewers in a very interesting predicament. Wong’s club option for 2023 is a $10MM salary. He has proven to be very impactful when playing his best baseball, but he also has spent a fair amount of time on the IL during each of the past two seasons and that salary is a hefty price tag for the payroll-conscious Crew.
If the Brewers elect to decline Wong’s option, there will be plenty of replacement options to choose from. The caveat to that is that Wong may be the best option. A few options include re-signing Jace Peterson, shifting Luis Urias over to second base, giving Keston Hiura another chance at the position, or rolling the dice with a young prospect in Brice Turang.
For some, this may be their final month in a Brewers uniform, so enjoy seeing them out there while you can!