Brewers NL Central rival signs three-time All-star, four-time Gold Glover

A perennial NL Central contender gets some added depth for their infield.
Oct 1, 2023; San Francisco, California, USA; San Francisco Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford watches
Oct 1, 2023; San Francisco, California, USA; San Francisco Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford watches / D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

With spring training games already underway and just about a month until the 2024 regular season begins, a surprising number of free agents are still out on the market. That total number reduced by one on Monday and unfortunately added a defensive weapon to a Brewers rival.

Shortstop Brandon Crawford found his new home with the St. Louis Cardinals, which was first mentioned as a possibility by Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. This will be just the second team the veteran has played for in his 13-year MLB career.

All of Crawford's previous experience came with the San Francisco Giants, who drafted him in the 4th round back in 2008. As a Giant, the 37-year-old was named to three All-star games, won four Gold Glove awards, and took home a Silver Slugger as well.

For his career, Crawford is a .250 hitter with a .319 on base percentage and .715 OPS and has also slugged 146 homers and driven in 744. In 66 career games against the Brewers, he has been awfully close to those averages, (.252 avg, .336 OBP, .739 OPS).

After being a stalwart of the Giants roster, though, you could tell the end was nearing in 2023. He slashed just .194/.273/.314 while playing in only 93 games. And with Casey Schmitt debuting last season as well as top 50 MLB prospect Marco Luciano waiting in the wings as well, the writing was on the wall.

Crawford now gives the Cardinals some depth as prospect Masyn Wynn gets acclimated to the major leagues. It also adds even more strong defense to a team that finished with the fourth fewest errors (67) in the league in 2023.

The addition of Crawford still doesn't do much to improve the team's offense, though. Much of the Cardinals' additions this offseason were on the pitching side, which, granted, was much needed. But they were 19th in MLB in scoring at 4.44 runs per game, lower than the Brewers' 4.47 rpg mark.

Crawford signing with the Cardinals brings another solid veteran defender into the NL Central. It may not completely move the needle for the Brewers rival, but it could still help make the division race a little more competitive in 2024.