3 early Brewers offseason rumors that should have fans really concerned

Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Corbin Burnes
Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Corbin Burnes / Stacy Revere/GettyImages
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The year's biggest free agents are more interested in division rivals

The Brewers' aren't projecting an incredibly strong-armed, aggressive image to the league at the moment. They've mostly been in the news for the pieces they've lost rather than the ones they've gained: Mark Canha and Abraham Toro were traded away for a prospect each in return, Craig Counsell went to the Cubs, the team non-tendered Brandon Woodruff, and now they're openly shopping Corbin Burnes and Willy Adames while not publicly gunning for any particular players in return. What's more, their name hasn't come up in conversations about any of the year's big free agent chases.

There are two teams in close proximity to the Brewers who have been aggressive, though, and they happen to be division rivals. The St. Louis Cardinals have been taking up most of the free agent air so far this offseason, having signed Kyle Gibson, Lance Lynn, and Sonny Gray in rapid succession this past week. They've also been connected to Tyler Glasnow and Yoshinobu Yamamoto, inarguably the most in-demand pitcher across the board. After their worst season since 1959, they're already making themselves a team to watch very closely, if not be actively afraid of.

In Chicago, the Cubs have been quieter, but they also feel a bit like sleeping giants as the only Midwestern team to have caught the eye of Shohei Ohtani. They've also been in discussions with the Guardians about Shane Bieber and with free agent Robert Stephenson. They still have some work to do in their outfield, given the departure of Cody Bellinger, and are as yet undecided about Christopher Morel's future with the team, but given their connection to Ohtani, they clearly have money they're prepared to spend and certain lengths they're willing to go to in order to acquire top talent.

If the Brewers remain inert when their rivals keep moving, it'll make the division even harder to clinch next year and put Milwaukee on the back foot from day one.