The Brewers' outfield, designated hitter, and bench have lots of question marks that will require placeholders. The outfield also has the single most significant financial commitment ever on the Brew Crew's books.
This is Part 2 of a series of stories detailing the payroll situation for the Milwaukee Brewers at a back-of-the-napkin level. Previously, we looked at the total salaries of the infielders, and came up with a $31M commitment for next year. Today we look at the rest of the offense.
Left Field – Much has been made of the nine-year $215 million extension that Christian Yelich signed in spring training of 2020, but fortunately, we don't need to unpack all that here. For our purposes, we need to know it includes a guaranteed $26M salary next year with a full no-trade clause. Write it in ink.
Center Field – Lorenzo Cain's contract comes off the books this year, and the Brewers just released Jonathan Davis. Tyrone Taylor started the most games last year and is not arbitration eligible yet, so he'll make close to the MLB minimum of $700K. If you have a favorite prospect to play here, they make the same amount, so Taylor will be our default choice and number.
Right Field – The Brewers can offer arbitration to Hunter Renfroe for one last year, which, unfortunately (unless you're Renfroe), means a significant raise. We'll estimate he increases last year's $7.65M salary to around $10M for our napkin. With 29 home runs, that might even be low.
Designated Hitter – Andrew McCutcheon is a free agent, and this looks like an excellent opportunity to add a bat. But we also haven't mentioned Keston Hiura yet. It's his first year of arbitration, which should net him about $2.5M, so we'll pencil him in here for now
Bench – If the season started today, those four bench spots on our list would probably need to be filled by minor leaguers making the minimum salary. We'll put those numbers in for now, assuming that eventually they'll increase slightly with some veterans, or by bumping players like Taylor or Hiura with free agent signings.
Here's where we're at:
We total $73M for the team's offensive half, and that's the side we'll likely see even more money spent. Plus, we haven't got to the team's supposed strength, including a couple of ace-level pitchers that should get significant raises. We'll tackle that next time.
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