Brewers remaining to-do list item #5: Complete one or more contract extensions
The Brewers have been dropping payroll this offseason, currently sitting at $20+MM below where the payroll was in 2022. There's certainly no good reason for that when the team says they're looking to compete and get back in the postseason and win a World Series in 2023. They don't seem to be playing in the top of the free agent market to spend that payroll savings.
So what are they dropping payroll from the rest of the team for? The most logical answer is for contract extensions for current players. The big three extension candidates are Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, and Willy Adames. All three have two years left until free agency.
Losing any of these three players would be a massive blow to the team's hopes of winning a World Series. Losing all three would be catastrophic.
The best way to avoid that is to negotiate contract extensions, and get at least one of them signed. Whether it's Burnes or Adames or Woodruff, they need to keep at least one. Keeping two would be fantastic. Extending all three is probably a pipe dream.
The Brewers do have money to spend. They don't seem to be wanting to spend it on free agents, and that's okay as long as they're willing to spend it on their current players and give them extensions.
This is the final thing but also a huge thing on Matt Arnold's to-do list. He has to get at least one of these guys signed to a long-term deal before Opening Day. If he doesn't questions will only persist into the season and into next offseason about them as trade candidates and teams will only continue to call. If you get down to just one season of control left, the team loses more and more leverage not only in extension negotiations, but in trade talks if they decide to go that route.
Save yourself the headache, Matt Arnold, get an extension done with as many of the three as you can.