Grading the Brewers' last offseason through the first half of the 2023 season

The Milwaukee Brewers made some interesting decisions last offseason. How have those decisions panned out.
Jun 30, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Milwaukee Brewers catcher William Contreras (24)
Jun 30, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Milwaukee Brewers catcher William Contreras (24) / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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Brewers Offseason Overall Grade

You can probably guess that the Brewers aren't going to grade out particularly well, but we do need to mention that this team is still five games above .500 and tied for first place in the National League Central at the moment. While we can quibble over the details and process at times, Milwaukee has a track record of fielding competitive teams despite their self-imposed constraints. The results haven't been amazing or anything, but this is still a pretty good team right now.

One other thing that needs to be addressed, though, is how the Brewers handled Corbin Burnes' arbitration. That whole situation doesn't really fit neatly into the categories from earlier, but this was a big mistake by the Milwaukee front office. Arbitration is already a messy enough process, but to go as far as the Brewers did to win their hearing and alienate Burnes along the way was just poor form. Not only does that make any hope of an extension with Burnes basically non-existent now, but we also have to wonder if it has impacted his play on the field this year. That not only hurts Burnes' value to himself, but also diminishes his potential trade value down the line. It also could have a slight chilling effect on players wanting to play in Milwaukee in the future.

Overall Offseason Grade - C+: The Contreras deal was an amazing get as he looks like he is going to be a very solid players for a long time. The Brewers also didn't commit any great sins in terms of bad contracts or lopsided trades which keeps them from the lower grades.

However, they also didn't do enough to bolster their roster. The lack of impact moves either in free agency or in trades outside of the Contreras trade gives the feel that this is a team that is just treading water. Frankly, it is fortunate that the Brewers play in a division that has been this bad in 2023 because a playoff berth has largely remained possible because of that. At the end of the day, teams should improve their rosters when they are still in contention and the Brewers only barely cleared that bar if at all.

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