As we continue the snail’s pace of this year’s MLB offseason, the upside for the Milwaukee Brewers is
that there are still plenty of great options to help fill the current roster. And according to an MLB writer, the landing spot for a free agent first basemen should be the Brew Crew.
Baseball writer Rowan Kavner of FOX Sports recently posted his landing spots for the top remaining free agents. Surprisingly, Milwaukee was included in that list. We all know that the Brewers haven’t made any huge free agency splashes in the last few seasons, but that could change with all the new young talent on the team and losing some of their higher-end salary players this offseason.
Kavner of FOX Sports has dream free agent first base target Rhys Hoskins heading to the Brewers
Unless you haven’t been paying attention this offseason, Rhys Hoskins name has come up a bunch and him being a great candidate for Milwaukee. The Brewers need to beef up, at minimum, one of their corner infield positions. As of January 22nd, the only first basemen on the active roster is Jake Bauers and Owen Miller. Their only listed designated hitter is Jahmai Jones. They will definitely need to sign or trade for someone to compete in 2024.
Hoskins fits all of the boxes for the Brewers. The team usually gravitates to California natives, and Rhys was born in Sacramento. Before hitting free agency, Hoskins has spent his entire professional career with the Philadelphia Phillies. With first base most likely to be Bryce Harper's new home, the need for Hoskins in Philly probably won't happen.
Rhys is a career .242 hitter, which basically fits right in with current team and state of baseball. His career OPS, however, is .845. If you want to compare it to previous Milwaukee first baseman, he would be quite an upgrade. Rowdy Tellez’s career OPS is .750. Owen Miller’s is .638 and Daniel Vogelbach’s is .752. Carlos Santana was a nice upgrade at the trade deadline, but his career OPS is also below Hoskins’ at .788.
The righty power hitter has 148 home runs and 405 RBIs over his six professional seasons. That is an
average of almost 25 home runs a season and almost 68 RBIs. If you compare that to the team’s 2023
offensive stats, he would have been first or tied in first for home runs and fourth in RBIs. Willy Adames
had 24 home runs and 80 RBIs, both team-leading. And as much as people were going after Willy during his slump last year, he still led the team in major offensive categories. It also shows that the team does need to upgrade their hitters or have their young players take the next step this season. Adding Hoskins to this mix and team should help jumpstart the bats.
Possible Downsides to Signing Rhys Hoskins
Obviously, nothing is a sure thing when it comes to free agents. And Hoskins probably won’t be cheap.
Last year, Rhys signed a one-year, $12M deal with the Phillies. So, you are probably looking at $10-$15MM a year at least for Hoskins depending on the deal. If it’s a longer deal for the 30 year old, you might be able to stretch out some salary. The front office will have to open up those wallets though if they want a great hitter at that spot.
When it comes to last season, that could be a possible downside as well. Hoskins got hurt in spring
training last March, and ended up tearing his ACL and had to have season-ending surgery. There is a risk to sign a free agent after being out for a year, but could also help lower his potential salary a bit and have him looking for a one year deal where he can showcase his bat. Milwaukee is a hitter's paradise and would suit his skillset well.
Rhys would be a perfect fit for Milwaukee. It fills a giant roster hole right now, and should add some
major power and offense to the team. The only big concern is if the Brewers pull the trigger, and what
prices the market start hitting for power hitter infielders. Milwaukee could jump early and save
some money, or might have to overpay to get a player they need after the signing floodgates open.
Either way, the Brewers aren’t done filling their 2024 roster.