With the 2023 MLB season now wrapped up, MLB.com released their top 25 free agents for the offseason with plenty of talented players set to hit the open market. The Milwaukee Brewers may not be in the running to pay what is likely a record deal for superstar Shohei Ohtani, but there are still players that would potentially fit in Milwaukee and be an asset for the Brew Crew.
Yesterday, the Brewers made their first move of the offseason by bringing back pitcher Colin Rea on a one-year deal with a club option. But there's more to come.
Who else could be a free agent fit in Milwaukee? The folks at MLB have a couple ideas.
Free agent that would potentially fit in Milwaukee - Teoscar Hernandez
Coming in at 17th on the MLB's rankings is 31-year old outfielder Teoscar Hernandez. Having spent six seasons in Toronto, Hernandez was traded to the Seattle Mariners last November.
Despite a slow start, he ended the season with 26 home runs and 93 RBIs on a .258 average and .395 OBP. He has hit at least 25 home runs in the last three consecutive seasons and last season the Brewers top home run hitter was Willy Adames with 24, and Adames led the team in RBIs with 80. An experienced bat like Hernandez would be a real asset for the Brewers and would be exactly what they need to continue to help the offense, off the back of their improvement after the trade deadline this season.
Defensively is where Hernandez maybe lacks slightly as he has a strong arm but is regarded as a below average fielder. With the young crop of outfielders available to the Brewers, this is where they could slide Hernandez over to the DH position or try hide him more out in left field if he has to play in the outfield. Sal Frelick and Garrett Mitchell are both able to cover ground in the outfield and could allow Hernandez and Yelich to interchange as to who plays out in left as well as DH depending on pitching matchups.
Milwaukee have a decision to make with Mark Canha as he has a club option worth $11.5MM for the 2024 season. Hernandez was paid $14MM last season and will be looking for a nice payday. So the front office may have to decide what they do with that club option for Canha if they felt they could secure the signing of Hernandez. It wouldn't make much sense to carry both and then limit the young guys that are looking to break into the lineup more regularly. Canha's option decision has to be made first, though.
Another reason this signing may not be on the Brewers radar is their expectations for Jackson Chourio and his progression this season. Just before the postseason began, Chourio was moved up to Triple-A Nashville or so there may be a chance of him being called up to the majors very early on into the season.
Overall, I quite like the idea of Hernandez playing in Milwaukee and statistically he would've been the Brewers best hitter last season in the way of home runs and RBIs. There would just be a few things the front office would need to sort out with the outfield before it becomes overcrowded.
Free agent that would potentially fit in Milwaukee - Rhys Hoskins
Rhys Hoskins missed the entirety of the 2023 season with a torn ACL, which will definitely factor into the money he is offered this offseason. If his knee does hold up, he has proven throughout his six season with the Philadelphia Phillies that he is a solid power bat.
Bar his rookie season and the shortened 2020 season, Hoskins has hit at least 27 home runs in each of his seasons in Philly, registering 30 in 2022. In that season, he added 79 RBIs on a .246 batting average with a .332 OBP.
Signing Hoskins would provide another option at first base and DH, interchanging with Rowdy Tellez in both positions if needed and both being power bats of value for the Brewers. He has previously played out in left field during his time with the Phillies but with the options available in Milwaukee and coming off of an ACL injury, it is likely he will stay at first or at DH.
Hoskins was paid $12MM for the 2023 season and coming off of that injury he may be available for a short-term prove it deal. Having been a mainstay in Philadelphia, they will likely want to keep him around and following their defeat in the NLCS they may feel he can help them return to the World Series.
With such a young roster and many prospects still expected to come through the minor leagues, Hoskins' experience could be integral in the infield when alongside a guy like Brice Turang. His ability at the plate would also be valuable for Milwaukee, with his 30 home runs in 2022 being more than any Brewer in the recent 2023 season.
Both players would be assets for the Brewers and it will be interesting to see who the front office targets this offseason and which young players they look to take on bigger roles in the 2024 season.