Following the Corbin Burnes trade, the Milwaukee Brewers projected starting rotation looks like an absolute dumpster fire on paper. What was once the strength of the team for several years suddenly looks like a potential weak spot.
Freddy Peralta, who has ace material stuff of the mound, is the new No. 1 but does not have a track record of consistently eating innings throughout an entire season. In 2023, he set a new personal best at 165 innings pitched. Similarly, the ageless Wade Miley does a great job at keeping runs off the scoreboard, but consistently working deep into games is not expected of him.
After those two veterans, Colin Rea and Joe Ross project to factor in. Rea was solid at times when filling in but currently is expected to be a more major staple in the rotation. Ross has not pitched in the big leagues in two years but signed a major league contract with the Brewers.
To round out the rotation, a few unproven players exist as options. Newly acquired DL Hall is expected to get a shot, Robert Gasser seems primed to make the big leagues this year, and Aaron Ashby is a bit of a wild card at this time.
With the way this group looks on paper, it appears as if new manager Pat Murphy may have to deploy an all hands on deck approach when managing his pitchers this year. We could see guys consistently piggy back off one another and we could see some projected starters work out of the bullpen to cover multiple innings.
What Brewers GM Matt Arnold should do is bring in another starting pitcher to help this group out. Adding a player of Blake Snell's caliber and money is out of the question, but there are still some free agent options available that could come in as the teams third projected starter.
The Milwaukee Brewers should sign LHP Hyun Jin Ryu to improve their 2024 starting rotation.
Hyun Jin Ryu is a 36-year-old southpaw who does not yet have home for next season yet. He most recently pitched for the Toronto Blue Jays. Last year in particular he was excellent over 11 starts and posted a 3.46 ERA. Tommy John surgery in June of 2022 caused him to the miss the first half of the 2023 season, however.
In 2021, Ryu made 31 starts and had a 4.37 ERA, but before that he had back-to-back seasons where he finished in the top three in Cy Young voting. He was a runner up in 2019 as a member of the Los Angeles Dogers when he had a 2.32 across 182 innings. A year after that, he had a 2.69 ERA during the shortened 2020 season with the Blue Jays.
For his entire career, Ryu has thrown 1,055 innings across MLB 10 seasons. His career ERA is an outstanding 3.27. He showed last year that he can still be an effective pitcher post Tommy John surgery.
If I'm Matt Arnold, I would be calling Scott Boras to get a deal for Ryu worked out. Given his age and recent history of surgery a low-cost, one-year deal with an option and higher average annual value for a second year seems right.