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  • The Brewers Need To Extend Willy Adames


    Cole McCormack

    Willy Adames is a fan favorite. The question is, can the Brewers afford to extend him?

    Image courtesy of © Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

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    Willy Adames, Milwaukee’s star shortstop, is the most obvious extension possibility for the Milwaukee Brewers this offseason. Adames has been a fan favorite for many since being traded to the Brewers from Tampa Bay back in May of 2021. 

    What kind of extension would be required if the Brewers wanted to keep Willy wearing a Milwaukee jersey?

    Willy Adames is 27 years old as of the writing of this article, and he is coming off of his best overall season yet, according to both Baseball-Reference and FanGraphs. In 2022, Adames had a 4.4 rWAR season with a career-high 31 home runs and 98 RBIs. However, there is more to extending Adames than just his stats.

    Upon being traded from the Rays to the Brewers on May 21, 2021, Adames was told to be himself. As a result, the city of Milwaukee fell in love with the sweet-swinging shortstop. His upbeat personality created a palpable energy among fans and even members of the clubhouse.

    After the questionable Josh Hader trade, David Stearns stepping down as President of Baseball Operations, and the team missing the playoffs in 2022, morale among fans is quite low. 

    Extending Willy Adames would demonstrate that this organization is set on winning both in the short-term and the long term. 

    Two significant free-agent signings recently reset the shortstop market's peak price. On December 8, 2022, Trea Turner signed a massive eleven-year, $300 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. One day later, former Boston Red Sox infielder Xander Bogaerts signed an eleven-year, $280 million contract with the San Diego Padres.

    It’s clear the market has changed, and small market teams like the Brewers are being left in the dust. 

    Adames is younger than both Turner and Bogaerts. Additionally, the Brewers have two more seasons of team control. At age 29, if no extension is agreed upon, he will become a free agent.

    An extension this offseason could be unlikely, but if he plays well in 2023, his market value can rise even higher than it is now. Willy Adames is a free agent after the 2024 season, but he has made it clear that he wants to remain a Brewer.

    When comparing the recent signings of Turner and Bogaerts, it is doubtful that the Brewers will hand out a massive eleven-year contract extension to Adames. 

    But Milwaukee could pay him around $25 - $27M per season, which might be enticing to Adames given that he's still 22 months away from free agency.

    Looking at the potential 2023 payroll, the Brewers have freed up a lot of space, with Lorenzo Cain, Andrew McCutchen, and Josh Hader being out of the picture. Spotrac estimates Milwaukee’s current payroll is at an estimated $112.5 million. Last season was an estimated $131 million. 

    If owner Mark Attanasio is willing to shell out some money to keep a fan favorite on the roster, it is possible that Willy could be a Milwaukee Brewer for the rest of his career. 

     

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    When hated Hiura has a better OPS than this guy this year, I think that is reason enough to tap those brakes and not shell out ridiculous money to this guy.

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    After today, I am quite confident Matt Arnold is not dumb enough to hand out $25mil a season to a guy that can’t even manage a .300 OBP.

    I really don’t get so many clamoring for him to get a massive extension. 

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    15 minutes ago, rickh150 said:

    When hated Hiura has a better OPS than this guy this year, I think that is reason enough to tap those brakes and not shell out ridiculous money to this guy.

    Adames is a legitimate defensive SS, Hiura is a DH/1B.

    If Hiura could field as well as Adames his bat would have gotten a lot more opportunities.

    Since he can’t he is looking like a fringe major leaguer while Adames is in line for a six figure contract.

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    13 minutes ago, MrTPlush said:

    After today, I am quite confident Matt Arnold is not dumb enough to hand out $25mil a season to a guy that can’t even manage a .300 OBP.

    I really don’t get so many clamoring for him to get a massive extension. 

    Adames has managed a .322 OBP over 2,248 career PAs. Steamer projects him at .316 for 2023.

    I don’t think Arnold will give him $25M a year either but if Willy’s willing to sign for something like say 6/100 it might be Monty Hall time.

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    14 minutes ago, MrTPlush said:

    After today, I am quite confident Matt Arnold is not dumb enough to hand out $25mil a season to a guy that can’t even manage a .300 OBP.

    I really don’t get so many clamoring for him to get a massive extension. 

    I fully understand why people want to sign him. I don't understand why people think things have changed so much because a couple players got massive long term deals. Neither set any type of precedent.

    Nor do I understand why we'd possibly pay him the same AAV as Trea Turner with 2 years to go before FA.

    If he wants a 6/110, fine. 

    27 a year puts him in the 7/190 range and that makes...absolutely no sense in my opinion. You'd be projecting Adames as the 2021 version with the BB rate approaching 12%(in Milwaukee) with the 2022 HRs numbers and the fielding.

    I could easily see it happening. That he puts it all together. There's no reason to pay for THAT production that you'd be hoping for right now. You pay him based on what he's done and the 2 years left of team control or you let it play out and then deal him in '24. 


    That's how I see it...and I get why people want to sign him. We're better when we have people like Adames in the dugout. Players that keep the team loose, who can hit and field, who seemingly love the game like...Lindor(who still held out for 345M) but you don't pay them top of the market FA money until they've shown they're better than those players or...they're FAs and then you let someone else do it.

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    13 minutes ago, sveumrules said:

    Adames has managed a .322 OBP over 2,248 career PAs. Steamer projects him at .316 for 2023.

    I don’t think Arnold will give him $25M a year either but if Willy’s willing to sign for something like say 6/100 it might be Monty Hall time.

    That seems about right. Maybe a bit short, but close to what seems reasonable.

    I wonder if the Brewers approach has been to encourage their hitters to swing more freely. Adames has had a pretty good walk rate that was outstanding last year when he spent part of the year with the Rays and then dropped this year. 

    Wong talked about it, about liking the freedom the Brewers gave him to not shorten up on 2 strike pitches. 

    Their prospects seem like they're going to emphasize OBP...that needs to translate though. 

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    Rather than extend him, I would trade him right now to the Dodgers (assuming the Dodgers have interest--and I think they do). The Dodgers have plenty of prospects to spare.

    The Brewers could bridge to Brice Turang with someone like Elvis Andrus or Jose Iglesias or Jean Segura.

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