Since last years trade deadline, the Brewers have been making some controversial decisions. In July, they elected to trade one of the best closers in the game in Josh Hader to the Padres. They did so amidst contenting for a playoff spot.
This offseason, they elected to trade away Hunter Renfroe for three pitchers. For a team that has been subtracting away good talent, they are due to add a big name player. Bill Ripken of MLB network suggests that the Brewers may be a sleeper team to land All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman.
Should the Brewers consider pursing Aroldis Chapman?
Throughout his 13 year career, Chapman is a seven time All-Star and one time Reliever of the Year. He has 315 career saves with a 14.7 K:9 ratio. 2022 was a down year for him in which he pitched just 36 innings, had a 4.46 ERA, and nine saves.
Chapman is coming off a 3 year, $48MM contract with the Yankees. Spotrac has his projected 2023 market value set at $6.65MM. At his best he certainly could outperform a one year deal at that price.
Ripken's big selling points as to why he picked Chapman to the Brewers was because they just lost a phenomenal left-handed reliever and should look to replace him with the southpaw Chapman. Chapman also has some controversy of his own after he was left off the Yankees playoff roster after missing a mandatory workout. Ripken basically states that the Brewers are not worried about chemistry, so why not go out and sign Chapman to a one year deal.
However, given he is coming off a 2022 season filled with multiple stint on the injured list, off the field concerns, and the fact the Brewers typically due not shell out that type of money to relievers, it is hard to see the Brewers landing Aroldis Chapman.
So far, the Brewers have bolstered their bullpen through internal prospects, trades, and signing players. Earlier in the offseason Cam Robinson and Abner Uribe were added to the 40-man roster. Tyson Miller, Javy Guerra, Elvis Peguero, and Janson Junk have all been big league additions as well.
There is a chance that the Brewers re-sign Brad Boxberger to a deal. His $3MM 2023 option was declined earlier in the season so perhaps Matt Arnold can bring him back on a lesser deal. Bringing back Boxberger for less than $3MM would be quite the steal for the Brewers, but is more likely to occur than them going out and targeting a big name free agent releiver such as Chapman.