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What's the plan for Kolten Wong next year?


Andrew
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Loyal Milwaukee fan Loving Mudcats in NC now, what's the plan for Wong know we have an option next year, a lot of errors this year however a rock in the clubhouse my choice is to keep him thoughts out there.???.

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With our starting pitchers getting more expensive, we have to pinch pennies to stay within payroll constraints. Turang is the obvious replacement, and while he may very well have growing pains and could just downright be bad, that's mitigated by having urias/brosseau/Jace on the roster(assuming we keep them all). You can rotate those 3 guys between 2 spots if turang flops. I also suspect brewers will make a point to bring in vets on a minor league deal to compete for that roster spot in spring training.

But in general I'm expecting us to give our top rated position player prospects a chance to open the season. I've enjoyed Wong and renfroe, but I suspect the brewers will try to cut costs at those 2 positions utilizing the younger talent and allocate those dollars to SP raises and probably bullpen help.

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First off, welcome to the board Andrew. 

It seems that the obvious thing to do with Wong is simply to pay the $2M buyout and let him become a free agent, saving $8M to use elsewhere. That is probably what is going to happen.

However, while Wong's overall numbers don't look great, he's hit .277 / .357 / .481 / .838 against RHP this year. Pair that with Brosseau's .286 / .355 / .440 / .795 against LHP, and you have a really good 2B platoon. I'd really like to see a high OBP at the #2 spot, and this platoon would fit that bill. Put Adames and Tellez behind a couple of high-OBP guys, and we'll probably score more consistently.

Turang is supposed to be a defensive whiz, so I think that with their current personnel, the best option would be to move Adames to 3B, put Turang at SS with Wong/Brosseau platooning at 2B. The biggest reason this probably won't happen is that Adames is nearing free agency, and a good-hitting SS gets paid a lot more than he would as a 3B so he might not want to move. The second reason is that while Wong has hit RHP well this year, he is horrid against LHP and his defense has really slipped. I don't know if it's worth $10M for platoon 2B who no longer plays good defense.

I like Wong's approach to the game and think the Brewers can use more guys like him. That said, with a limited payroll, the team will probably let him walk, figuring the $8M saved can be better used upgrading elsewhere, leaving Adames, Urias, Turang, and Brosseau to cover SS/2B/3B.

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"The most successful (people) know that performance over the long haul is what counts. If you can seize the day, great. But never forget that there are days yet to come."

 

~Bill Walsh

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1 hour ago, Outlander said:

I think they decline the option as they have to work within a budget and $8 million is too much. Would probably prefer Jace since he can play more positions and is a decent replacement player when injuries happen. 

I'd be very cautious with Jace Peterson. He's had a wonderful year for the Brewers this year, but he's 32 and is probably going to parley this season into a multi-year deal for decent money.

His career started in 2014, and he has totaled 4.3 Fangraphs WAR. 2.3 of that came this year!! He is a prime candidate to get a relatively big deal and be around a zero WAR player for the entirety of the deal.

The Brewers started platooning Wong as the year went on this season. If he's used as a platoon player, I think Wong has a good chance of providing more WAR than Peterson next year, so the question would be "what is Peterson going to cost, and for how many years?" 

If Peterson is a 2-3 year deal for around $8M per year, I'd prefer to just spend the extra $8M for one year of Wong and not be tied into the extra years, or I'd just let them both walk. If Peterson is able to convince someone that he's really a 2+ WAR player like he's been this year, and he gets something like $12-15M/year, I'd run away very quickly.

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"The most successful (people) know that performance over the long haul is what counts. If you can seize the day, great. But never forget that there are days yet to come."

 

~Bill Walsh

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2 hours ago, monty57 said:

First off, welcome to the board Andrew. 

It seems that the obvious thing to do with Wong is simply to pay the $2M buyout and let him become a free agent, saving $8M to use elsewhere. That is probably what is going to happen.

However, while Wong's overall numbers don't look great, he's hit .277 / .357 / .481 / .838 against RHP this year. Pair that with Brosseau's .286 / .355 / .440 / .795 against LHP, and you have a really good 2B platoon. I'd really like to see a high OBP at the #2 spot, and this platoon would fit that bill. Put Adames and Tellez behind a couple of high-OBP guys, and we'll probably score more consistently.

Turang is supposed to be a defensive whiz, so I think that with their current personnel, the best option would be to move Adames to 3B, put Turang at SS with Wong/Brosseau platooning at 2B. The biggest reason this probably won't happen is that Adames is nearing free agency, and a good-hitting SS gets paid a lot more than he would as a 3B so he might not want to move. The second reason is that while Wong has hit RHP well this year, he is horrid against LHP and his defense has really slipped. I don't know if it's worth $10M for platoon 2B who no longer plays good defense.

I like Wong's approach to the game and think the Brewers can use more guys like him. That said, with a limited payroll, the team will probably let him walk, figuring the $8M saved can be better used upgrading elsewhere, leaving Adames, Urias, Turang, and Brosseau to cover SS/2B/3B.

Moving Adames to 3B would be a terrible decision as he's now firmly established himself as one of the premier defensive shortstops in the game. Plus, Turang's bat plays better at 2B anyways. 

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This is going to be a hard one to predict, I could see them going either direction. Brewers are pretty frugal though and I have a tough time seeing them pay Wong $8mil. Turang has a lot of potential in just about every facet of the game and has had a really solid year in AAA. I think they end up rolling the dice on him and save the money.

That being said I would and think it is potentially possible they will keep him around for versatility on the roster. Consider him 2023 McCutchen. They really don't have anything better to spend that money on, so might as well keep him as he is reliable. Unless you think it will be worth spending that money on a catcher or want to make a big splash to help 3B, Wong is likely the best way to spend the money. 

Think I would roll the dice with Mitchell/Yelich/Taylor/Renfroe in the OF. 3B can be Urias/Brosseau. The DH can just be a revolving door that could include Turang/Mitchell/Hiura/Wong/whatever.

A lot of it has to do with what they hypothetically do if they go with Turang. Are they improving a different position on the field...pitching? Mitchell/Turang both having major rolls next year would be a massive risk. Especially if catcher is random fodder and Urias is your bulk guy at 3B.

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I agree with Montys' desire to have more OBP in the 2-hole & sliding people like Adames & Tellez down a peg in the batting order. I just don't know if I see CC hitting Turang up there right off the bat (although I think he should).

Agree with the idea of letting Wong walk. I'd love to bring Peterson back but agree that's probably unlikely.

Urias has been probably my biggest disappointment of the pos player group this season. I really felt we wouldn't be hearing any more laments about 3B after the year I suspected he was going to have.

The way they've been moving people around to different positions at Nashville & Biloxi this year, most notably Turang, it's really difficult to predict how this shakes out. I do think Turang is going to have a major role here in 2023 though.

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1 hour ago, Brewcrew82 said:

Moving Adames to 3B would be a terrible decision as he's now firmly established himself as one of the premier defensive shortstops in the game. Plus, Turang's bat plays better at 2B anyways. 

If you have the same players, the offense is the same regardless of where they play, so play them where you get the best defense. 

Adames has played SS well, but it sounds like Turang would probably be even better. Urias has been a bad defender at 3B, but according to Statcast he's been better at 2B, and of course Wong only plays 2B. Brosseau is pretty bad defensively at 3B. I would guess that Adames would be a good defensive 3B. Its really about getting rid of the bad defense at 3B than it is about whether Turang or Adames is the better SS. We could just put Turang at 3B, but I think he's supposed to be the best overall defender.

Therefore, the best defensive lineup using the guys we've got appears to be Turang at SS, Adames at 3B and a platoon of the other guys at 2B. If we put Turang at 2B, with Adames at SS, we're stuck with Urias/Brosseau at 3B. They've both proven to be poor defensively at that position. Defensively, so I'd prefer Urias/Brosseau at 2B.

I acknowledged that moving Adames is unlikely to happen, but it would probably be our best defensive lineup. I think the decision will be made because Adames wants the biggest free agent contract he can get, and that will not happen if he's moved to 3B. The Brewers will oblige, and everyone will be happy, even if the end result is a worse overall team defense.

Or, the team decides to spend some resources on a true third baseman, in which case this point is probably moot. If everyone plays good defense, then there isn't as much need to try to hide the bad defender(s).

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"The most successful (people) know that performance over the long haul is what counts. If you can seize the day, great. But never forget that there are days yet to come."

 

~Bill Walsh

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3 minutes ago, Jim French Stepstool said:

I agree with Montys' desire to have more OBP in the 2-hole & sliding people like Adames & Tellez down a peg in the batting order. I just don't know if I see CC hitting Turang up there right off the bat (although I think he should).

Agree with the idea of letting Wong walk. I'd love to bring Peterson back but agree that's probably unlikely.

Urias has been probably my biggest disappointment of the pos player group this season. I really felt we wouldn't be hearing any more laments about 3B after the year I suspected he was going to have.

The way they've been moving people around to different positions at Nashville & Biloxi this year, most notably Turang, it's really difficult to predict how this shakes out. I do think Turang is going to have a major role here in 2023 though.

The idea of the higher OBP in the 2-hole is based on a Wong/Brosseau platoon hitting there. If Wong's option is declined, I don't think we have the player on the current roster outside of Yelich who is expected to be a "high OBP" guy next year.

Frelick will probably be there at some time, and Mitchell may as well, but Frelick might not even be on the roster and Mitchell doesn't look ready to be at the top of the lineup yet. I do wish they'd have brought up Frelick instead of Mitchell as he appeared more ready, while Mitchell has been waylaid by some injuries in his MiLB career and probably could've used more "seasoning" in the minors.

Turang seems to be a "defense first" guy who will probably be more of a bottom-of-the-order bat, but I hope I'm wrong there. Maybe if you're just looking for OBP, Turang could go there, but I don't think he has much power at all. I see him ending up as a leadoff or 9-hole guy, but as a rookie I think the 9-hole is more realistic.

I like that our prospects are more "bat to ball" and less "swing out of your shoes for more power" guys. Eventually we should have a much higher team OBP than we have this year, but that's a lot to ask from them as rookies.

It just looks to me like Adames would be better suited to #3/4 instead of 2, with his low OBP/high SLG approach. That might be less pronounced if the bottom of the order hitters are getting on base and Tellez/Renfroe are 3/4 instead of McCutchen, but a .304 OBP doesn't give the 3/4 guys much of a chance to knock him in.

"The most successful (people) know that performance over the long haul is what counts. If you can seize the day, great. But never forget that there are days yet to come."

 

~Bill Walsh

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28 minutes ago, monty57 said:

The idea of the higher OBP in the 2-hole is based on a Wong/Brosseau platoon hitting there. If Wong's option is declined, I don't think we have the player on the current roster outside of Yelich who is expected to be a "high OBP" guy next year.

Frelick will probably be there at some time, and Mitchell may as well, but Frelick might not even be on the roster and Mitchell doesn't look ready to be at the top of the lineup yet. I do wish they'd have brought up Frelick instead of Mitchell as he appeared more ready, while Mitchell has been waylaid by some injuries in his MiLB career and probably could've used more "seasoning" in the minors.

Turang seems to be a "defense first" guy who will probably be more of a bottom-of-the-order bat, but I hope I'm wrong there. Maybe if you're just looking for OBP, Turang could go there, but I don't think he has much power at all. I see him ending up as a leadoff or 9-hole guy, but as a rookie I think the 9-hole is more realistic.

I like that our prospects are more "bat to ball" and less "swing out of your shoes for more power" guys. Eventually we should have a much higher team OBP than we have this year, but that's a lot to ask from them as rookies.

It just looks to me like Adames would be better suited to #3/4 instead of 2, with his low OBP/high SLG approach. That might be less pronounced if the bottom of the order hitters are getting on base and Tellez/Renfroe are 3/4 instead of McCutchen, but a .304 OBP doesn't give the 3/4 guys much of a chance to knock him in.

I think Turang would be just fine as a #2 hitter, the only question is would it take a while for him to settle in there, or would CC even put him up there to start. His power #'s have taken a jump in recent weeks too, enough for him to respectably fill such a role IMO.

Agree that Frelick would be a potential fit there as well, as could Mitchell once the K's are lessened. If they all remain & fill roles, certainly someone with leadoff skills is going to be in the 9-hole.

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36 minutes ago, monty57 said:

If you have the same players, the offense is the same regardless of where they play, so play them where you get the best defense. 

Adames has played SS well, but it sounds like Turang would probably be even better. Urias has been a bad defender at 3B, but according to Statcast he's been better at 2B, and of course Wong only plays 2B. Brosseau is pretty bad defensively at 3B. I would guess that Adames would be a good defensive 3B. Its really about getting rid of the bad defense at 3B than it is about whether Turang or Adames is the better SS. We could just put Turang at 3B, but I think he's supposed to be the best overall defender.

Therefore, the best defensive lineup using the guys we've got appears to be Turang at SS, Adames at 3B and a platoon of the other guys at 2B. If we put Turang at 2B, with Adames at SS, we're stuck with Urias/Brosseau at 3B. They've both proven to be poor defensively at that position. Defensively, so I'd prefer Urias/Brosseau at 2B.

I acknowledged that moving Adames is unlikely to happen, but it would probably be our best defensive lineup. I think the decision will be made because Adames wants the biggest free agent contract he can get, and that will not happen if he's moved to 3B. The Brewers will oblige, and everyone will be happy, even if the end result is a worse overall team defense.

Or, the team decides to spend some resources on a true third baseman, in which case this point is probably moot. If everyone plays good defense, then there isn't as much need to try to hide the bad defender(s).

Yeah, that does not make sense to me! You're still starting the same players. Who cares if his bat plays better for a 2B or a SS? And Willy IS an exceptional SS. And for those same reasons, he'd likely be an exceptional 3B. Given their current situation, it seems unlikely they'll extend their pitching. Maybe they extend Adames and ask him to slide over. 3B is obviously going to be played differently with the new shift rules, so his big arm and ability to cover a lot of ground, that could be a massive asset over there. 

Turang could play 3B as well. Doesn't have as big of an arm as Adames, but it's strong enough. Urias just seems to play the best at 3B. 

Adames seems like the type of guy you'd ask to move to 3rd and he probably wouldn't love it, but he'd get over it real quick. His agents would take issue. But even that, are people could forget he's a stud SS in 2 years when he's 29? I could certainly be used against him, but

 

One last thought, if he shows he can play 3B, could that HELP his value? Look at 3B around MLB? The best 3B FA this year is probably...Jace Peterson while Trea Turner, Dansby Swanson, Jose Iglesias are at SS(Tim Anderson with a TO that will obviously get picked up). Correa will likely be back on the market.

2024 isn't a banner year for either, though Chapman is a FA at 3B.

2025-Anderson, Correa, Adames at SS, Bregman at 3B and I don't know if he'll still be a 3B by then.

So maybe showing he can play both at an elite level doesn't hurt him and actually creates more options? You could at least make the argument. 

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Please stop posting that Turang will displace Adames to 3B. They wouldn't have been giving him games at other positions if they weren't considering him for a utility role.

Peterson needs to be a priority rather than Wong.  With Adames, Urias, Turang, Peterson, and (maybe) Brosseau, we have 2B-SS-3B covered. Without Peterson, they need another quality utility guy (or 3B), and I don't know how they can make one magically appear.

 

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12 minutes ago, Robocaller said:

Please stop posting that Turang will displace Adames to 3B. They wouldn't have been giving him games at other positions if they weren't considering him for a utility role.

Peterson needs to be a priority rather than Wong.  With Adames, Urias, Turang, Peterson, and (maybe) Brosseau, we have 2B-SS-3B covered. Without Peterson, they need another quality utility guy (or 3B), and I don't know how they can make one magically appear.

 

Peterson is a career journeyman who had a good (2.3 Fangraphs WAR) season this year and will likely get a multi-year deal that will highly overpay him based on his 2022 success. If the market for him is softer than I think it will be, then by all means re-sign him, but otherwise I'd let someone else guarantee him a few relatively high-price years while he goes back to being the zero WAR player he's been for most of his career.

As to Turang, I really hope they don't consider him a utility player. He's not expected to be a star, but he is far and away our best infield prospect, so if he's only a utility guy then we might be in a bit of trouble. He will probably be our everyday 2B next year, and Urias will probably be our 3B. Then, when Adames is traded following the 2023 season, Turang will move to his natural position of SS.

Brosseau will be back, as he's one of the few guys on our roster that know how to hit LHP. We could trade for or sign a 3B, as Urias is currently the small side of a platoon, so I don't think the team is very high on him anymore. That would move Urias to a utility role unless they trade him away if they get a replacement.

As to "magically appear," it's not that tough to find a second utility IF if we need one, or we'll just sign some vets minor league contracts with invites to spring training to provide depth. If we're counting on a utility IF to play a major role on our team, we might be in trouble from the get-go.

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"The most successful (people) know that performance over the long haul is what counts. If you can seize the day, great. But never forget that there are days yet to come."

 

~Bill Walsh

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6 minutes ago, Jim French Stepstool said:

I think Turang would be just fine as a #2 hitter, the only question is would it take a while for him to settle in there, or would CC even put him up there to start. His power #'s have taken a jump in recent weeks too, enough for him to respectably fill such a role IMO.

Agree that Frelick would be a potential fit there as well, as could Mitchell once the K's are lessened. If they all remain & fill roles, certainly someone with leadoff skills is going to be in the 9-hole.

Agreed...on all counts. I preferred to see Frelick up. He seemed like the more obvious answer(between two very good choices). He was hotter for one. Mitchell had been a bit...uneven with injuries and illness in the minors. Nothing serious, always minor, but the margins were slim. I guess it just came down to the 2020 pick over the 2021 pick?

I was starting to get nervous that Mitchell wouldn't get ABs because he was struggling in a very short sample size. But even then, he's been putting the bat on the ball, working the count. He's been rung up on a couple of bad 3-2 calls(couple of good ones as well...seems like he gets to 3-2 a lot). I think he's averaging nearly 5 pitches per AB. A little trouble it seems picking up the slider, but nothing out of the norm for a rookie. No problem getting to the FB.

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2 hours ago, UpandIn said:

Yeah, that does not make sense to me! You're still starting the same players. Who cares if his bat plays better for a 2B or a SS? And Willy IS an exceptional SS. And for those same reasons, he'd likely be an exceptional 3B. Given their current situation, it seems unlikely they'll extend their pitching. Maybe they extend Adames and ask him to slide over. 3B is obviously going to be played differently with the new shift rules, so his big arm and ability to cover a lot of ground, that could be a massive asset over there. 

Turang could play 3B as well. Doesn't have as big of an arm as Adames, but it's strong enough. Urias just seems to play the best at 3B. 

Adames seems like the type of guy you'd ask to move to 3rd and he probably wouldn't love it, but he'd get over it real quick. His agents would take issue. But even that, are people could forget he's a stud SS in 2 years when he's 29? I could certainly be used against him, but

 

One last thought, if he shows he can play 3B, could that HELP his value? Look at 3B around MLB? The best 3B FA this year is probably...Jace Peterson while Trea Turner, Dansby Swanson, Jose Iglesias are at SS(Tim Anderson with a TO that will obviously get picked up). Correa will likely be back on the market.

2024 isn't a banner year for either, though Chapman is a FA at 3B.

2025-Anderson, Correa, Adames at SS, Bregman at 3B and I don't know if he'll still be a 3B by then.

So maybe showing he can play both at an elite level doesn't hurt him and actually creates more options? You could at least make the argument. 

I was wondering about the "help his value" part also. Probably easier to get to be an All-Star because of the lack of talent at 3B, but overall, who knows how he'd respond to it.  Plus, anyone signing him as a FA will know he can still play SS, so it isn't like he "loses" that notion.

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51 minutes ago, Robocaller said:

Please stop posting that Turang will displace Adames to 3B. They wouldn't have been giving him games at other positions if they weren't considering him for a utility role.

Peterson needs to be a priority rather than Wong.  With Adames, Urias, Turang, Peterson, and (maybe) Brosseau, we have 2B-SS-3B covered. Without Peterson, they need another quality utility guy (or 3B), and I don't know how they can make one magically appear.

 

Turang's played 6 games at 3rd, 7 at 2nd and 14 in CF(which he's VERY unlikely to play next year) vs 143 games at SS. Seems pretty reasonable that they think he's a SS. 


I also don't think anyone stated he WILL displace him...merely that it'd make some sense. That's probably your best defensive combination, so it's not really that crazy to hold the OPINION that's what they should maybe consider doing.

They also don't need a utility IFer to "magically" appear if they don't re-sign Jace Peterson. They'd have Bosseau, Urias, Adames, Turang. Black and Devanney are guys who may at some point be ready next year. Hiura is not ideal, but an option at 2B and I'm sure they'd sign someone with versatility.

 

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37 minutes ago, monty57 said:

Peterson is a career journeyman who had a good (2.3 Fangraphs WAR) season this year and will likely get a multi-year deal that will highly overpay him based on his 2022 success. If the market for him is softer than I think it will be, then by all means re-sign him, but otherwise I'd let someone else guarantee him a few relatively high-price years while he goes back to being the zero WAR player he's been for most of his career.

As to Turang, I really hope they don't consider him a utility player. He's not expected to be a star, but he is far and away our best infield prospect, so if he's only a utility guy then we might be in a bit of trouble. He will probably be our everyday 2B next year, and Urias will probably be our 3B. Then, when Adames is traded following the 2023 season, Turang will move to his natural position of SS.

Brosseau will be back, as he's one of the few guys on our roster that know how to hit LHP. We could trade for or sign a 3B, as Urias is currently the small side of a platoon, so I don't think the team is very high on him anymore. That would move Urias to a utility role unless they trade him away if they get a replacement.

As to "magically appear," it's not that tough to find a second utility IF if we need one, or we'll just sign some vets minor league contracts with invites to spring training to provide depth. If we're counting on a utility IF to play a major role on our team, we might be in trouble from the get-go.

Turang is a utility guy/2B until they move on from Adames. which could be at the trade deadline next year, if the Brewers suck.

Name me one 3B they can sign or acquire cheaply. I'll wait. Unless you're on the dream train with me of signing Arenado, there's not really anyone available better than Peterson.

Name me one available utility guy who can perform as well as Peterson. They don't exist. Brosseau, on the other hand, would be easy to replace. 

 

 

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9 minutes ago, Robocaller said:

Turang is a utility guy/2B until they move on from Adames. which could be at the trade deadline next year, if the Brewers suck.

Name me one 3B they can sign or acquire cheaply. I'll wait. Unless you're on the dream train with me of signing Arenado, there's not really anyone available better than Peterson.

Name me one available utility guy who can perform as well as Peterson. They don't exist. Brosseau, on the other hand, would be easy to replace. 

 

 

They don't exist? They didn't exist last season either as Jace Peterson was coming off a 95 OPS+ and was a below average defender.

 

All for re-signing Peterson...as long as he's not paid on his career year where he's posted an above average OPS for the 2nd time in his career(the first time being when he hit .200 in 61 ABs over 26 games in 2020 and had an OPS+ of...100). 

 

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