Brewers 2022-23 Offseason Preview: Free Agents, Options, Arbitration, and More

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JUNE 23: A detail view of a Milwaukee Brewers cap during the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Miller Park on June 23, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JUNE 23: A detail view of a Milwaukee Brewers cap during the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Miller Park on June 23, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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CINCINNATI, OHIO – SEPTEMBER 23: Andrew McCutchen #24 of the Milwaukee Brewers runs to home plate in the second inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on September 23, 2022 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Brewers 2022-23 Free Agents (8)

Andrew McCutchen, Jace Peterson, Omar Narvaez, Taylor Rogers, Trevor Rosenthal, Pedro Severino, Jonathan Davis, Josh Lindblom

The Brewers have a couple of key players hitting free agency this winter.

The highest paid player of this group is Andrew McCutchen, who made $8.5MM in 2022. Milwaukee signed him to a one year deal this spring to much surprise considering the Crew’s crowded outfield picture but also to much celebration from ownership who “stretched the budget” to sign him. While McCutchen is a likable personality and a good leader in the clubhouse, he disappointed at the plate and didn’t mash lefties like he was brought in to do. Given that and the growing crowd in that outfield, expect McCutchen to play elsewhere in 2023.

Jace Peterson, “On Base Jace” as he’s affectionately known to many, has reached free agency. He’s served well in a utility role for the Brewers and has been a good presence in the clubhouse. He could parlay that into a decent payday on the open market but he’s unlikely to get a starting job either in Milwaukee or anywhere else. With Mike Brosseau capable of stepping into Peterson’s role, the Brewers may be willing to let Peterson walk but I wouldn’t be totally surprised if he comes back on a one year deal.

Omar Narvaez couldn’t have picked a worse time to have a terrible season at the plate. He was solid in 2021 with some power and hitting for a decent average, but Narvaez toiled around the Mendoza line in 2022 with just four home runs. Victor Caratini ended up taking the most ABs for the Brewers at catcher this year because of Narvaez’s struggles. With young Mario Feliciano ready for a big league job, Milwaukee is likely to let Narvaez walk this offseason and won’t think twice about it.

The Brewers acquired Taylor Rogers as the immediate replacement for Josh Hader. The issues with that trade have been thoroughly discussed, but one of the issues that hasn’t been talked about as much is that Rogers will hit free agency a year before Hader does. Rogers made $7.3MM in 2022 between the Padres and Brewers and even though he didn’t perform all that well in Milwaukee, he’s still likely to get a decent payday in free agency. Will the Brewers give it to him and bring him back after they weren’t willing to pay Hader? Likely not.

Signing Rogers would be odd considering what he would demand and that the Brewers are adamant that Devin Williams is going to be their closer. Rogers isn’t going to get big money from Milwaukee to be a set up guy or on a closer by committee. Letting Rogers walk would also be a bad look considering he was a key part of such a massive trade, but the Brewers made this bed for themselves, now they have to lie in it. Still, I’d expect Rogers to leave this winter.

Another ill-fated Trade Deadline acquisition was Trevor Rosenthal, who never threw a pitch for the Brewers and is now a free agent. Will the Brewers sign him back? Maybe. They might try to just so they don’t look as stupid for acquiring him in the first place. They do like Rosenthal and when healthy he can be a weapon, but he just hasn’t been healthy in two seasons. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him brought back, but also wouldn’t be surprised if he walked. If he returns and pitches well, maybe that trade won’t look as dumb in hindsight.

Pedro Severino, Jonathan Davis, and Josh Lindblom all finished the season in Triple-A Nashville. Lindblom was there all year in a veteran leadership role, while Severino and Davis were outrighted off the 40 man and both elected free agency. Davis was out of a job as soon as he got hurt and Garrett Mitchell was called up. With other outfield prospects ready, Davis is going to look elsewhere for an opportunity. The same goes for Severino, who never got a real chance in Milwaukee after his positive PED test.