The 2023-24 Brewers offseason has already gotten off to a horrible start with the Crew losing manager Craig Counsell, and it might continue to get worse.
The GM Meetings were held this week as teams get started laying the ground work for their offseason moves and the reports coming out of these meetings hardly paint a rosy picture for the Milwaukee Brewers.
According to MLB Insider Ken Rosenthal ($), the Brewers could look to tear down their roster and are reportedly "open to moving virtually any player" on the roster.
Rosenthal goes on to mention Corbin Burnes and Willy Adames, which many have previously theorized could be trade candidates this winter. The injury to Brandon Woodruff was believed to make a Burnes trade less likely this winter, but that may not be the case anymore.
Granted, we've heard these kinds of things before. The Brewers generally don't have any untouchable players on principle, always being open to the right trade, but the price is usually absurdly high. If another team doesn't overpay, Milwaukee generally doesn't deal from that group of core guys. This year may be different since it is the final season of club control for Burnes, Adames, and Woodruff.
While the "virtually anyone" would technically include young players, the Brewers are focused on remaining competitive moving forward and the young prospects who made their way to the big leagues this year figure to be safe from trade talk, but they do have an overabundance of outfielders, so perhaps one could be moved to fill a need elsewhere.
Rosenthal adds that the Brewers are seemingly willing to sacrifice the present for the future after the departure of Craig Counsell. This would be a stark change of direction from the Brewers, who have publicly stated time and again that they don't want to enter into rebuilds and plan to stay competitive year in and year out.
Perhaps a fire sale is warranted, perhaps a change is needed, but without the proper messaging, such a move would be an awful look for Milwaukee. If they trade core players such as Burnes, Adames, Christian Yelich, or even Freddy Peralta has been mentioned as a trade candidate, it would represent a step back from competitiveness and if the Brewers don't acknowledge that, it'll be difficult to believe in the general direction of the team.
This will be an offseason with many questions and right now it's difficult to predict what will end up happening. They're sounding like sellers and instead of looking to improve the team for 2024, they may want to take a step back.