Here are three free agents that MLB Trade Rumors predicts the Brewers will sign for the 2023 season.
3. OF/DH Michael Brantley
When it comes to the outfield, the Brewers could go in a number of different directions. Former MVP Christian Yelich could stay there or move to designated hitter. Hunter Renfroe has been involved in trade rumors. They have a bunch of young prospects ready to step up. And Tyrone Taylor is no lock to stay on the roster for 2023.
The same could be said at designated hitter. Andrew McCutchen is no longer an option as he has hit free agency. Keston Hiura could be, though his status is somewhat enigmatic for next season. Again, Yelich could be an option but he'll likely mostly play his natural outfield position, as would Rowdy Tellez at first base.
One free agent could help address both positions and allow the Brewers to reunite with an old player in the process.
That free agent, according to Anthony Franco of MLB Trade Rumors, is Michael Brantley. Brewers fans probably remember him as a piece of the infamous trade that brought in CC Sabathia back in the 2008 playoff season.
Brantley has had quite the career after 10 seasons played with the Cleveland Guardians and the last four with the Houston Astros. He is a five-time All-Star, has won a Silver Slugger, and finished third in American League MVP voting in 2014.
The numbers aren't too shabby either. Brantley has a career .288/.370/.416 slash line with 127 home runs, 713 RBIs, 346 doubles, 125 stolen bases, and 751 runs scored. And at 35 years old, he hasn't particularly slowed down with age.
Unfortunately, Brantley was limited to 64 games due to a shoulder injury that required season-ending surgery, so Milwaukee would need to hope that the injury doesn't start to slow down some of his production.
And there is also the price tag as MLB Trade Rumors projects him at a one-year deal for $15MM. That's an even more expensive deal than the McCutchen one that didn't work out that well last season, though Brantley comes with a better recent track record.
Unless that injury plus age causes a serious immediate decline, Brantley would provide a lot more consistency for Milwaukee's offense. If the team is serious about improving the part of the team this offseason, perhaps its an investment worth making.
It could be a few months before we know if the Brewers sign these or any other free agents for the 2023 season. Hopefully that's what happens because even one of these guys could go a long way toward getting the team back on track next year.