This is not a time for complacency. This is not a time to be passive. This is not a time to wait back and be "opportunistic" in terms of upgrading the big league roster.
This is a time to be bold. This is a time to make some sort of splash. This is a time to be aggressive and get the guy you want.
So far this offseason the Brewers have chosen not to be bold or aggressive. They've made some moves, yes. But trading away Hunter Renfroe and Kolten Wong were not bold moves, they were not aggressive moves to upgrade the roster. They served a purpose, clearing room for the young prospects that need at-bats, yes. The moves themselves weren't inherently bad but they didn't move the needle.
Brewers GM Matt Arnold needs to make at least one bold and aggressive transaction this offseason to upgrade the roster and move the needle forward.
Editor's note: Shortly after this article's publication, the Brewers ended up making a bold and aggressive move to acquire All Star catcher William Contreras in a three-team trade.
When was the last time the Brewers made a truly aggressive move or moves to substantially upgrade this roster? It was right after the last time they missed the playoffs by one game in the 2017 season. That winter, David Stearns decided to go all in on contending, acquiring Christian Yelich in a trade and signing Lorenzo Cain. The Brewers were instantly rewarded with an NLCS berth.
This year, the Brewers missed the playoffs by just one game again. The needle for them has dropped from legit World Series contender, down to being on the outside looking in at the playoffs. What's going to move that needle back up? Picking up scrap heap position players in February probably won't do the trick. They need to be bold and make an aggressive move for a legitimate upgrade somewhere on this team, whether it be at catcher or third base or wherever, they need something.
To add to the urgency for aggression, this is the first offseason at the helm for GM Matt Arnold. With David Stearns stepping down, the Brewers no longer have the architect of those four consecutive playoff teams running the show. His protégé is. Now that it's Arnold's show, he should be looking for a signature, bold transaction of his own. The Yelich trade is on Stearns' ledger, not Arnold's. He needs something that signifies he's going to be looking to get the job done.
They made a very bold subtraction from the team back in August. It decimated the clubhouse and was a significant factor in the team falling short. If they're going to get this team back to where they want them to be, there needs to be a subsequent bold addition to the roster. The best time to do that would've been in August to make up for the Hader trade and help the team then, but the second best time is now.
Fans aren't excited about this team. You could see it in the stands down the stretch as the team was still in the fight for a playoff spot. People weren't there. Apathy had set in. How do you get them excited again? Make a bold, aggressive move in the offseason that signals the team is all in to win. Whether it be a trade, a free agent signing, or both, it needs to be done.
There are several different avenues they could take to make this addition, and I'm not too picky as to which route they take and I don't think fans are either. Whether it's a massive trade for a catcher like Sean Murphy or Alejandro Kirk, or a free agent like Christian Vazquez, it doesn't matter, we'd love any of the three.
Matt Arnold says he's looking for upgrades on the catcher market. I just listed three options on the market that would be a substantial improvement and would move the needle for this club. Whoever Arnold and the front office like best, they should go all out to acquire. Don't let someone else take your guy. Find your guy and get your guy. Don't wait.
This team isn't going to win a World Series by battling for scraps on the catching market just to sign Austin Hedges. The Brewers can't have another season of Victor Caratini hitting .199 on the year, they just can't.
Fortune favors the bold. Look at all the recent World Series winners. Did they get there by being passive and meek on the free agent and trade markets? Or did they get there because they made bold, aggressive moves to fortify their team?
You may wonder "Can the Brewers afford to make a bold move?" My question is: Can they afford not to?