Brewers Free Agents (9)
Jesse Winker, Carlos Santana, Victor Caratini, Josh Donaldson, Julio Teheran, Darin Ruf, Colin Rea, Eric Lauer, Brian Anderson
The Brewers have a decent sized free agent class this offseason. Some players were given a headstart on free agency. Brian Anderson was DFAed in the final week of the season and elected free agency while Eric Lauer was outrighted off the 40 man and also elected free agency.
Darin Ruf had a very short stint as a healthy player on the Brewers, messed up his knee colliding with a tarp a few games into his Milwaukee tenure, and was on the IL the rest of the season. He's not expected to be brought back, but there are some available at bats at first base, so anything is possible with Ruf.
Josh Donaldson and Julio Teheran were in-season additions that played some big roles. Donaldson is not expected to return to Milwaukee in 2024 but Julio Teheran could possibly come back. Woodruff's injury opens opportunity in the rotation and GM Matt Arnold stated they would aggressively seek pitching depth this winter. Teheran came up big when the Brewers needed him most and he could possibly return on a one year deal for next year.
The same could be said for Colin Rea. His surface numbers may appear ugly, but Rea was a big piece of this pitching staff when injuries ravaged the rotation. He consistently kept the Brewers in games and ate up innings, and there's value in that even if he's not a Brandon Woodruff-level pitcher. Rea is likely in line for a big league deal this winter and the Brewers could bring him back.
Victor Caratini was the Crew's backup catcher and in a free agent market that's devoid of many starting options, Caratini could find some opportunity for more playing time this offseason. The Brewers like Caratini and he was Corbin Burnes' personal catcher most of the year. The Brewers can find another backup option behind William Contreras elsewhere if Caratini's price gets too high. But if Caratini can't find a starting job on the open market, there's a chance he could return to Milwaukee.
Jesse Winker should not, under any circumstances, return to the Brewers in 2024. They tried with Winker, it didn't work, and both sides need to move on. Perhaps Winker was injured most of the year and that is what contributed to his poor performance, but let him try to prove he's healthy and a capable hitter again elsewhere.
Carlos Santana is a quality veteran that provided a good boost for the Brewers at the Trade Deadline. It's likely he will try to continue playing in 2024 and while the Brewers may have some opportunity at first base, it's entirely likely he doesn't return to Milwaukee in 2024. There's a semi-decent chance he'll come back, but that depends on which direction the Brewers want to go at first base.