Brewers player who won't be back next year #3: LHP Eric Lauer
It was a horrible, no good, very bad year for southpaw Eric Lauer. His fastball lost its 'zoom', he got hit all over the park, suffered injuries, neither he nor the Brewers knew what exactly was causing his struggles, he got taken off the field and sent to the pitching lab, struggled in Triple-A, then came up at the end of the year in a no-pressure start and struggled yet again to finish the year on a low note.
Lauer was earning a $5.075MM salary in 2023 and is eligible for arbitration one final time this offseason, but it's difficult to see the Brewers tendering him a contract. The maximum pay cut a player can take in arbitration is 20%, and that may not be enough for the Brewers to want to bring him back. Someone else may take a chance on Lauer, but it's likely the last we've seen of him in a Brewers uniform.
Lauer had a 6.56 ERA this year and the rotation clearly no longer had a spot for him. Even with all the early season injuries, Lauer was removed from the rotation because of poor performance, that was until he got injured himself. He's out of minor league options and the non-tender for Lauer feels like the most obvious move the Brewers will make this offseason.
Players who were up in the big leagues all season get non-tendered all the time. For Lauer to have spent the majority of the year in the minors and even when he was healthy and they needed a start, the Brewers didn't call him up, it's a clear sign that the Brewers aren't likely to keep him, especially at his salary. Lauer practically said as much after his final start, he believes he's made his last start in Milwaukee and if that's what he's feeling, he's probably right.