One of the well documented needs for the Milwaukee Brewers to address is at first base following Rowdy Tellez's departure and Carlos Santana is currently still a free agent. The latter has had conversations with the Brewers about returning to the team but they are still looking to alternative options should the veteran not sign back in Milwaukee.
Another option the Brewers have shown interest in is former Miami Marlins infielder Garrett Cooper, as reported by FanSided. The 33-year old would make a return to the Brewers organization, having been drafted by Milwaukee in 2013 before finding his way to the New York Yankees, followed by five and a half years in Miami before being traded to the San Diego Padres last year.
Garrett Cooper could fill the void at first base for the Brewers
Cooper played in 123 games last season for the Marlins and Padres, hitting .251 and with an OBP of .304. He hit a career high 17 home runs and 61 RBIs, something that could be improved upon at American Family Field, which is considered a hitter friendly ballpark.
The Brewers need better production at first. While Cooper hasn't put up the big slugging numbers in the past, he's coming off a career best home run season and he hits for a pretty high average, allowing him to be productive even if he's not the biggest home run threat.
Santana was a great addition to the Brewers last season and his ability to play at first and behind the plate will always be useful to a team along with his switch-hitting capabilities. Now at 37, looking a different direction may be something the Brewers have to take into consideration. Santana ended the 2023 season hitting .240/.318/.429 with 23 home runs and 86 RBIs.
Last season Cooper earned $4.2MM and he may be available for a similar deal. As a player that can be rotated in and out with Santana, (if they wanted to bring both in) then there is a possibility both are on the roster should the finances work out for all involved.
With him being affordable and also a player that could be offered a one or two-year deal, the Brewers may look to someone like Cooper if they cannot bring Santana back. The feeling is that Santana will likely return having already engaged in talks with the front office but there is no harm in seeing who else is available to fill the first base void. Cooper is someone that can be effective and will come at very little cost if the Brewers aren't looking to splash out or make a trade.