5. UTIL Whit Merrifield
Whit Merrifield has been a versatile defender and a productive hitter for a number of years now after finally breaking through to the big leagues at 27 years old. He was with the Royals for most of those years and has spent the past season and a half with the Blue Jays. Merrifield spends most of his time at second base but can also play the corner outfield. In Milwaukee, he likely wouldn't be asked to play the outfield much but the possibility does add some value.
Merrifield is a career .284 hitter with a .750 OPS over his eight seasons. He may not add much power, hitting 11 home runs each of the past two years, but he hits plenty of doubles and steals bases. He's a three-time league leader in stolen bases, although his last came in 2021. Merrifield stole 26 bases this past season.
The Brewers are in need of some middle infield options as the group is in flux this offseason. Willy Adames' free agency after 2024 has led to trade rumors surrounding the Crew shortstop, and second baseman Brice Turang had a rough first year at the plate. Turang could move back to shortstop in the event of an Adames trade, which would leave second base open for someone like Merrifield to come and fill the void. That way the Brewers still have a veteran presence in their middle infield with some guaranteed production.
Heading into his age-35 season, Merrifield isn't going to be getting a lot of long-term offers, which means he could fit in financially to the Brewers plans and offensively he would be a great boost to the lineup.
It remains to be seen how much the Brewers will actually invest in the free agent market. It's a weak crop this year, but if the Brewers are going to add to this team, free agency is the easiest way to do it without detracting from the current roster or the future.