Free Agent they need to keep: C Victor Caratini
As much as the Brewers like their youth movement most places on the roster, manager Craig Counsell prefers catchers with a lot of big league experience and Victor Caratini has plenty of that.
Caratini has been the Brewers backup catcher this year as William Contreras was brought in last offseason to bring some needed offensive improvements at the position. Caratini is a very good option for a backup catcher and could potentially be a starting catcher for another team, which may make keeping him tougher.
Caratini is a pretty inconsistent hitter, but he's put up a respectable slash line of .247/.327/.368 and he is a switch hitter, which is rare in a catcher and makes him quite valuable, especially with a solid slash line like he has.
Now you can find backup catchers just about anywhere, but to further the case for why the Brewers should stick with Caratini as their backup, let's look at when he plays. Caratini has become the personal catcher for Cy Young winner Corbin Burnes. Burnes loves pitching to him and that's no small matter. Caratini was previously the personal catcher for Yu Darvish, another ace-level talent with tons of pitches in his arsenal.
Burnes is under team control for one more year, barring a miraculous turn of events in those non-existent extension talks. Provided the Brewers don't look to trade Burnes this offseason, it makes sense to sign Caratini back on a one year deal as well.
The "catcher of the future" down in the minors for Milwaukee is Jeferson Quero. He's in Double-A this year and the Brewers could look to put him on a timeline where he's ready for the big leagues in 2025. Quero could realistically spend all of 2024 in Triple-A then be ready for his promotion next year. In the meantime, Caratini should complement Contreras behind the plate.