The Milwaukee Brewers had an offense that was less than spectacular in 2023 and that group will need to be better in 2024. While improvements from internal players have to happen, the front office should be looking to bring in outside players to help address the Crew's offensive deficiencies.
Unfortunately, this isn't a ripe free agent market for position players. Last year was stacked and this year's group doesn't have a ton of great options to remake a lineup. Still, there are gems to be found out there.
Of the free agent hitters, who could be a possibility for the Brewers financially (sorry, Shohei Ohtani is not on this list) and logically fit on the roster? Here's five possibilities for GM Matt Arnold to sign in free agency:
1. 1B Rhys Hoskins
Rowdy Tellez's non-tender leaves the Brewers without a starting quality first baseman on the roster. Only Owen Miller and trade acquisition Jake Bauers are currently on the 40 man with the capability to handle first base duties. That's hardly an inspiring group and first base is once again a priority for Milwaukee to address in the offseason.
Rhys Hoskins would be a perfect fit on the Brewers roster. He's coming off a torn ACL that knocked out his entire 2023 season, meaning the 30 year old is likely looking for a one year pillow contract to re-establish his value to sign a long-term deal next winter. The Brewers likely aren't interested in Hoskins at the price of a multi-year deal, but a straight one year contract is a lot more doable for Milwaukee.
When healthy, Hoskins can rake. He has a career .846 OPS and 125 OPS+, meaning he's a 25% better than league average hitter. In his past four full, non-shortened seasons, Hoskins has slugged at least 27 home runs every year. His batting average hovers in the mid-.240s and is generally a very productive corner infield bat. With a full year to recover and a normal offseason program this winter, Hoskins should be in line to return to his productive ways in 2024.
The Brewers may have to pay a higher salary for one year, but they've done that before when the opportunity presented itself with Yasmani Grandal in 2019. Given the dire nature of their first base situation and the quality of corner prospects close to the big leagues, a one year stopgap with Hoskins can help Milwaukee out in 2024 without blocking any of their top prospects.