The Brewers biggest offseason need has been addressed. First base was a problem position in 2023 and now they've solved that problem for 2024, bringing in former Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins on a two year, $34MM contract.
The lineup looks much improved with Hoskins in the middle of it. But there's still plenty of free agents out there and plenty of things that could happen before we reach Opening Day. This roster hasn't yet been finalized and there's work left to do.
What positions are left for the Brewers to address following the free agent signing of Rhys Hoskins?
Brewers remaining needs
1. One more starting pitcher
The Brewers lost a lot of innings from their rotation this offseason. Brandon Woodruff, Adrian Houser, Julio Teheran, and Eric Lauer are all out. Wade Miley and Colin Rea are back and Joe Ross has been signed to a contract, but there's still room for another veteran starting pitcher addition.
Heading into spring training with Joe Ross as the 5th option in the starting rotation is hardly an ideal situation for the Brewers. He hasn't pitched in the big leagues in two seasons dealing with injury and relying on him to play a big role is a heavy ask.
Now, the Brewers do have a number of young starting pitchers ready for big league roles. Robert Gasser and Carlos F. Rodriguez saw Triple-A time last year and will likely take over rotation spots soon enough. However, heading into the season depending on the young arms as the rotation depth can be quite risky.
We saw last season how quickly rotation depth can be depleted and the depth doesn't seem to be in a much better spot this year. Getting another veteran rotation option would make the pitching situation a lot more comfortable.
2. Bullpen depth
The Brewers are returning most of their bullpen arms from last year, so this isn't a major need. The only arm they lost was Andrew Chafin, who is hardly a loss from this group after his performance in 2023. Milwaukee's also added options in Taylor Clarke and Bryan Hudson on the 40 man roster.
But the Brewers would not hesitate to add another bullpen option if there was one available they like. They have a strong crop already on the roster and bullpen isn't a pressing need.
The thing Milwaukee likes the most in their bullpen additions are minor league options. Flexibility with that group is key, so a player without options may not be as attractive to the front office unless they're a surefire veteran. The Brewers did pursue Aroldis Chapman in free agency before he ultimately signed with the Pirates, so they are open to these kinds of deals.
If they enter the season with the bullpen crop they have, they'd be in pretty good shape, but you can never have enough pitching, and that goes for the rotation and the bullpen alike.
3. Third base
The Brewers needed to get at least one corner infielder this offseason and they did that with Rhys Hoskins. Third base is currently slated to be an open competition between Andruw Monasterio and top infield prospect Tyler Black. Black is likely the long-term plan at the hot corner.
Black put up big numbers in the minors last year and can play any spot in the infield besides shortstop.
The Brewers may very well be comfortable just leaving third base as a competition between these two young players. Similarly, last year the Brewers left second base open for Brice Turang and he took the starting job. Milwaukee may be doing the same with third base in 2024.
Still, if the Brewers really wanted to, they could bring in a third baseman as the spot is wide open, but it'll likely end up being a camp battle between Monasterio and Black.
The bulk of the offseason work is likely done. They have one major need with another starting pitcher and two minor "needs" that might fall more into the category of "like to have" than a need.