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  1. After the big trade of Hunter Renfroe, where does the Brewers roster stand as major league baseball prepares for the upcoming Winter Meetings? Image courtesy of © Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports Last week was a busy week across major league baseball as teams had a few deadlines to take action on. The Milwaukee Brewers were as busy as anyone as decisions on the 40-man roster had to be made as well as what arbitration-eligible players would be tendered contracts. Among the moves, fan-favorite Brent Suter was waived, claimed, and agreed to a contract with the Colorado Rockies. On top of that, Tuesday night, the Brewers also swung a trade with the Los Angeles Angels offloading Hunter Renfroe’s contract and acquiring three pitchers in return. After all that roster movement, major league baseball gets ready for the Winter Meetings, which begin on December 4th. Here are some of the remaining questions for the Brewers 2023 roster. Collecting catchers As of right now, the 40-man boasts four catchers. The Brewers did tender Victor Caratini a contract. He currently slots in as the starting catcher. The other three catchers include two prospects, Mario Feliciano and Alex Jackson, alongside recently acquired Payton Henry. The Brewers could go into the season with Caratini starting and one of the other three catchers on the 40-man as the backup and get some decent results. The question going into the Winter Meetings remains if the Brewers may look to upgrade at catcher, pushing Caratini to the bench and adding some needed offense simultaneously. Free agent names include Willson Contreras, Christian Vazquez, and reunion with Omar Narvaez. Matt Arnold could also have conversations with the Blue Jays, who are reportedly shopping their backstops in trade. Relief Help on the Way? Devin Williams will continue to provide a solid backend to the bullpen. Without Josh Hader, Taylor Rogers, and Trevor Rosenthal there is room to build around the complimentary pieces around Williams. Matt Bush and Adrian Houser (who right now is listed as a long reliever on Roster Resource) will return after agreeing to contracts and adding Javy Guerra through a trade. While there can be dreams of adding one of the big names on the free agent market like Kenley Jansen, even the mid-tier relievers would help this bullpen. That may be the idea behind two of the pitchers acquired in the Renfroe deal. While Janson Junk is slated to compete for the rotation, according to Arnold, Adam Seminaris, or Elvis Peguero could realistically figure into the bullpen at some point in 2023. Of course, there are always the off-the-radar moves that could happen and do happen every offseason. Bill Ripken has one in mind for the Brewers. Payroll Expectations The Brewers ended last season with a payroll of around $137 million. All signs pointed to the Crew needing to find ways to cut some of their payroll to fill gaps on the roster for next season or sign key players like Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes, and Willy Adames to extensions. Before last night it was hard to see how the Brewers were going to move forward with $126 million on the payroll, according to Roster Resource. It always seemed like with the Brewers payroll limits that it would be challenging to fill out the active roster with both Kolten Wong’s $10 million option (with a $2 million buyout) and Renfroe’s estimated $11.2 million in arbitration money on the books. With Renfroe in LA, there is certainly more room for signings or extensions. Even though the chances have likely slimmed, with some teams still seeking out second base help (looking at you, Mariners), there is still the chance something could happen with Wong out there. The hard part with Renfore off the roster and potentially Wong is that there is no sure way to replace their offense from within the organization. Arnold seems confident in the young outfielders the Brewers have. Garrett Mitchell leads the way in that conversation, as he did his best to prove himself in 28 games this past season, hitting .311/.373/.459 for a 136 wRC+. It will remain to be seen if Arnold is as comfortable with Tyrone Taylor as an outfielder that will receive significant playing time. Speaking of Wong and infield bats... The Infield Even if Wong remains on the roster, how confident can the Brewers be in either Luis Urias or Mike Brosseau as the team's starting third baseman? With third base being a traditionally easy place to add offense, will Arnold consider poking around during the Winter Meetings to see if the team could upgrade? The free agent market isn't impressive this offseason, with Josh Turner leading the group. There is always the possibility for another trade, or how confident the Brewers are in the recent 40-man add and prospect Brice Turang? On the other side of the diamond, there is shaping up to be a potentially strange platoon between the likes of Rowdy Tellez, Jon Singleton, and Keston Hiura. Heading into the Winter Meetings the first base/designated hitter role looks like an area where some movement could also happen. The offense was already a question mark before trading away Renfroe’s bat. Eyes will undoubtedly be on Arnold during the Winter Meetings and beyond to see if he attempts to add offense in some fashion before Spring Training. What questions remain for you when it comes to the Brewers roster? View full article
  2. Last week was a busy week across major league baseball as teams had a few deadlines to take action on. The Milwaukee Brewers were as busy as anyone as decisions on the 40-man roster had to be made as well as what arbitration-eligible players would be tendered contracts. Among the moves, fan-favorite Brent Suter was waived, claimed, and agreed to a contract with the Colorado Rockies. On top of that, Tuesday night, the Brewers also swung a trade with the Los Angeles Angels offloading Hunter Renfroe’s contract and acquiring three pitchers in return. After all that roster movement, major league baseball gets ready for the Winter Meetings, which begin on December 4th. Here are some of the remaining questions for the Brewers 2023 roster. Collecting catchers As of right now, the 40-man boasts four catchers. The Brewers did tender Victor Caratini a contract. He currently slots in as the starting catcher. The other three catchers include two prospects, Mario Feliciano and Alex Jackson, alongside recently acquired Payton Henry. The Brewers could go into the season with Caratini starting and one of the other three catchers on the 40-man as the backup and get some decent results. The question going into the Winter Meetings remains if the Brewers may look to upgrade at catcher, pushing Caratini to the bench and adding some needed offense simultaneously. Free agent names include Willson Contreras, Christian Vazquez, and reunion with Omar Narvaez. Matt Arnold could also have conversations with the Blue Jays, who are reportedly shopping their backstops in trade. Relief Help on the Way? Devin Williams will continue to provide a solid backend to the bullpen. Without Josh Hader, Taylor Rogers, and Trevor Rosenthal there is room to build around the complimentary pieces around Williams. Matt Bush and Adrian Houser (who right now is listed as a long reliever on Roster Resource) will return after agreeing to contracts and adding Javy Guerra through a trade. While there can be dreams of adding one of the big names on the free agent market like Kenley Jansen, even the mid-tier relievers would help this bullpen. That may be the idea behind two of the pitchers acquired in the Renfroe deal. While Janson Junk is slated to compete for the rotation, according to Arnold, Adam Seminaris, or Elvis Peguero could realistically figure into the bullpen at some point in 2023. Of course, there are always the off-the-radar moves that could happen and do happen every offseason. Bill Ripken has one in mind for the Brewers. Payroll Expectations The Brewers ended last season with a payroll of around $137 million. All signs pointed to the Crew needing to find ways to cut some of their payroll to fill gaps on the roster for next season or sign key players like Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes, and Willy Adames to extensions. Before last night it was hard to see how the Brewers were going to move forward with $126 million on the payroll, according to Roster Resource. It always seemed like with the Brewers payroll limits that it would be challenging to fill out the active roster with both Kolten Wong’s $10 million option (with a $2 million buyout) and Renfroe’s estimated $11.2 million in arbitration money on the books. With Renfroe in LA, there is certainly more room for signings or extensions. Even though the chances have likely slimmed, with some teams still seeking out second base help (looking at you, Mariners), there is still the chance something could happen with Wong out there. The hard part with Renfore off the roster and potentially Wong is that there is no sure way to replace their offense from within the organization. Arnold seems confident in the young outfielders the Brewers have. Garrett Mitchell leads the way in that conversation, as he did his best to prove himself in 28 games this past season, hitting .311/.373/.459 for a 136 wRC+. It will remain to be seen if Arnold is as comfortable with Tyrone Taylor as an outfielder that will receive significant playing time. Speaking of Wong and infield bats... The Infield Even if Wong remains on the roster, how confident can the Brewers be in either Luis Urias or Mike Brosseau as the team's starting third baseman? With third base being a traditionally easy place to add offense, will Arnold consider poking around during the Winter Meetings to see if the team could upgrade? The free agent market isn't impressive this offseason, with Josh Turner leading the group. There is always the possibility for another trade, or how confident the Brewers are in the recent 40-man add and prospect Brice Turang? On the other side of the diamond, there is shaping up to be a potentially strange platoon between the likes of Rowdy Tellez, Jon Singleton, and Keston Hiura. Heading into the Winter Meetings the first base/designated hitter role looks like an area where some movement could also happen. The offense was already a question mark before trading away Renfroe’s bat. Eyes will undoubtedly be on Arnold during the Winter Meetings and beyond to see if he attempts to add offense in some fashion before Spring Training. What questions remain for you when it comes to the Brewers roster?
  3. In an offseason that seems to contain so much uncertainty, perhaps it's one of the "other" Milwaukee Brewers starting pitchers who get traded. While the focus has been on Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, and even Adrian Houser, left-hander Eric Lauer might be the best option to swing a deal. Image courtesy of © Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports Undoubtedly, Eric Lauer has provided terrific value for the Milwaukee Brewers over the past two seasons. Early in 2022, Lauer performed like a co-ace with lights-out stuff. Through his first seven starts, Lauer posted a 2.16 ERA with 54 strikeouts and only eight walks (6.75 K/BB). He would finish the season with a 3.69 ERA across 158.2 innings, second most on the Brewers behind Corbin Burnes. That's not the production from a pitcher you cast aside for the heck of it, especially with two seasons of control remaining. On the flip side, one could point to several areas of concern that would lead the Brewers to try to sell high. Teams are always looking to add solid starting pitchers to their rosters, and a few clubs clearly need to upgrade their rotations. Lauer projects to make around $5.2 million in arbitration in 2023, which would also be appealing to front offices in search of an arm. So while Lauer isn't going to tilt the field as much as Burnes or Woodruff, he could offer more to a team than many of the free-agent options and at a much better cost - beyond the personnel they would have to give up. Looking at his Statcast rankings from 2022, they don't jump out at you. A lot of average rankings could mean trouble in the near future, and stats further indicate negative regression is coming. Aside from the many low percentiles, there are other reasons GM Matt Arnold could see now as the best time to move Lauer: Home Runs Allowed Lauer missed being a "qualified starter" by less than four innings, but it's close enough to see he would have tied for the second-worst home runs per nine innings (HR/9) rate in baseball. His 1.5 HR/9 in 2022 jumped from 1.3 HR/9 in 2021, as he permitted 27 long balls in 29 starts. If he increased his strikeout rate, you would feel slightly better about the gopher balls; however, with the pitch clock coming in 2023, many believe strikeouts will go down. Too Many Free Passes Among qualified pitchers in 2022, Lauer would have finished with the third-worst walks per nine innings rate (BB/9) at 3.3. This also declined from the previous season when he had a career-best 3.1 BB/9. That is quite telling on its own. The combo of a higher homer rate and walk rate is a recipe for disaster, though Lauer has managed to succeed despite this the last two seasons. Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) FIP was created to assess better what a pitcher controls and how that would look as a separate "ERA." Because of his walks and home runs allowed, Lauer owned a 4.50 FIP in 2022. Comparing that to his 3.69 ERA, some argue he was fortunate, considering his FIP was almost a full point higher. He had a similar difference in 2021 (3.19 ERA vs. 4.04 FIP), which could mean one of two things. He either outperforms his FIP as a part of his skill set, or he is playing with fire and could soon blow up carrying the much higher FIP. Clubhouse Presence Look, I'm not in the clubhouse, and I am not pretending to know how Lauer's multiple strong statements came across to his teammates (or the front office). However, we all should acknowledge that some of his comments might have rubbed players and staff the wrong way when talking about the front office "sending the wrong message" with the Josh Hader trade and how they weren't trying to put the team in the best position to win in 2022. Even if what he says is true, most prefer keeping those conversations in-house, not blasted to the public. If he has burned some bridges or fractured the group somehow, Milwaukee could see it as addition by subtraction. Additional Rotation Options If you're trading Lauer, you're likely keeping Burnes and Woodruff. Past those two, Milwaukee would still have Freddy Peralta, Aaron Ashby, and Houser to go with potential call-ups from the minors, such as Ethan Small and Robert Gasser (acquired in the Josh Hader trade). There are also many free-agent options that would be valuable mid-level starters the Brewers could afford to snatch for a couple of seasons. With one free agent arm, Milwaukee would essentially have eight arms for the rotation, not counting smaller moves the club is likely to make. Those are a few reasons the Brewers would entertain trading Lauer this off-season. And despite those potential negatives, he should have enough value to another club to offer a fairly significant return - at least more than Houser. Teams like the Toronto Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles, Minnesota Twins, and Texas Rangers are searching hard for starting pitcher options. Even clubs like the New York Mets (free agent losses) and Los Angeles Dodgers (injuries and prospects) could be in the market. Could the Brewers offer Lauer and a prospect to the Blue Jays for one of their three catchers like Danny Jansen or Alejandro Kirk? Would the Orioles or Rangers be willing to part with one or two solid prospects from their terrific farm systems ranked first and sixth, respectively? Options abound across multiple teams, and the Brewers should be open to any creative paths to success in 2023 and beyond. View full article
  4. Undoubtedly, Eric Lauer has provided terrific value for the Milwaukee Brewers over the past two seasons. Early in 2022, Lauer performed like a co-ace with lights-out stuff. Through his first seven starts, Lauer posted a 2.16 ERA with 54 strikeouts and only eight walks (6.75 K/BB). He would finish the season with a 3.69 ERA across 158.2 innings, second most on the Brewers behind Corbin Burnes. That's not the production from a pitcher you cast aside for the heck of it, especially with two seasons of control remaining. On the flip side, one could point to several areas of concern that would lead the Brewers to try to sell high. Teams are always looking to add solid starting pitchers to their rosters, and a few clubs clearly need to upgrade their rotations. Lauer projects to make around $5.2 million in arbitration in 2023, which would also be appealing to front offices in search of an arm. So while Lauer isn't going to tilt the field as much as Burnes or Woodruff, he could offer more to a team than many of the free-agent options and at a much better cost - beyond the personnel they would have to give up. Looking at his Statcast rankings from 2022, they don't jump out at you. A lot of average rankings could mean trouble in the near future, and stats further indicate negative regression is coming. Aside from the many low percentiles, there are other reasons GM Matt Arnold could see now as the best time to move Lauer: Home Runs Allowed Lauer missed being a "qualified starter" by less than four innings, but it's close enough to see he would have tied for the second-worst home runs per nine innings (HR/9) rate in baseball. His 1.5 HR/9 in 2022 jumped from 1.3 HR/9 in 2021, as he permitted 27 long balls in 29 starts. If he increased his strikeout rate, you would feel slightly better about the gopher balls; however, with the pitch clock coming in 2023, many believe strikeouts will go down. Too Many Free Passes Among qualified pitchers in 2022, Lauer would have finished with the third-worst walks per nine innings rate (BB/9) at 3.3. This also declined from the previous season when he had a career-best 3.1 BB/9. That is quite telling on its own. The combo of a higher homer rate and walk rate is a recipe for disaster, though Lauer has managed to succeed despite this the last two seasons. Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) FIP was created to assess better what a pitcher controls and how that would look as a separate "ERA." Because of his walks and home runs allowed, Lauer owned a 4.50 FIP in 2022. Comparing that to his 3.69 ERA, some argue he was fortunate, considering his FIP was almost a full point higher. He had a similar difference in 2021 (3.19 ERA vs. 4.04 FIP), which could mean one of two things. He either outperforms his FIP as a part of his skill set, or he is playing with fire and could soon blow up carrying the much higher FIP. Clubhouse Presence Look, I'm not in the clubhouse, and I am not pretending to know how Lauer's multiple strong statements came across to his teammates (or the front office). However, we all should acknowledge that some of his comments might have rubbed players and staff the wrong way when talking about the front office "sending the wrong message" with the Josh Hader trade and how they weren't trying to put the team in the best position to win in 2022. Even if what he says is true, most prefer keeping those conversations in-house, not blasted to the public. If he has burned some bridges or fractured the group somehow, Milwaukee could see it as addition by subtraction. Additional Rotation Options If you're trading Lauer, you're likely keeping Burnes and Woodruff. Past those two, Milwaukee would still have Freddy Peralta, Aaron Ashby, and Houser to go with potential call-ups from the minors, such as Ethan Small and Robert Gasser (acquired in the Josh Hader trade). There are also many free-agent options that would be valuable mid-level starters the Brewers could afford to snatch for a couple of seasons. With one free agent arm, Milwaukee would essentially have eight arms for the rotation, not counting smaller moves the club is likely to make. Those are a few reasons the Brewers would entertain trading Lauer this off-season. And despite those potential negatives, he should have enough value to another club to offer a fairly significant return - at least more than Houser. Teams like the Toronto Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles, Minnesota Twins, and Texas Rangers are searching hard for starting pitcher options. Even clubs like the New York Mets (free agent losses) and Los Angeles Dodgers (injuries and prospects) could be in the market. Could the Brewers offer Lauer and a prospect to the Blue Jays for one of their three catchers like Danny Jansen or Alejandro Kirk? Would the Orioles or Rangers be willing to part with one or two solid prospects from their terrific farm systems ranked first and sixth, respectively? Options abound across multiple teams, and the Brewers should be open to any creative paths to success in 2023 and beyond.
  5. The Milwaukee Brewers are rarely linked to marquee free agents, and they rarely commit the funds to signing that level of player in free agency. With a loaded free agent class looming, the Brewers could have a prime - though very unlikely - target in Trea Turner. Yes, it's unlikely but unlikely does not mean impossible. Image courtesy of Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports For the second straight season, a handful of star shortstops are testing their luck in free agency. With Willy Adames already handling the everyday shortstop duties, it doesn’t seem likely that the Brewers will be making a move for any of them. However, Trea Turner is too perfect of an opportunity to pass up. The Brewers' offense was plagued with inconsistency during the 2022 season. Trea Turner was not. Turner slashed .298/.343/.466 in 2022 and was a vital piece of a juggernaut Dodgers team. He also earned himself another All-Star selection and a Silver Slugger to boot. It’s safe to say at just 29 years of age, Trea Turner is one of the star infielders in baseball. As of now, Turner stands to sign a contract that could net him upwards of $35 million annually. Still, a true five-tool player entering the prime of his career, it shouldn't be a surprise that Turner is also looking for a lengthy deal. The Milwaukee Brewers have never once spent that level of money, but now could be the time to do so. There’s no question the front office would have to pull some strings. Whether it would be making trades to clear up salary space, or an unusually structured contract, there are ways to lure star players to any franchise. It's not likely, but there is always a slight chance, as evidenced by Minnesota's last-minute acquisition of Carlos Correa in an opt-out-laden deal during Spring Training of 2022. Why Turner? Turner is one the best contact hitters in the sport, has solid power for a middle infielder, is a gold glove-caliber fielder, and is one of the fastest players in the league. With Turner, you're getting a proven star with little downside. The numbers are there to support it too, and Turner has the accolades to back it up, with multiple all-star appearances and silver slugger to his name. Not to mention, Turner’s been present on baseball's brightest stage, too, as he was a key piece on the Nationals championship run in 2019. Given the Brewers' lack of offensive consistency and desire to compete over the next two years as Corbin Burnes, Willy Adames, and Brandon Woodruff approach free agency, Turner could be the perfect sparkplug to sit atop the lineup and complement the right-handed Christian Yelich. Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB Pos Awards 2015 22 WSN NL 27 44 40 5 9 1 0 1 1 2 2 4 12 .225 .295 .325 .620 69 13 0 0 0 0 0 H4/6 2016 23 WSN NL 73 324 307 53 105 14 8 13 40 33 6 14 59 .342 .370 .567 .937 142 174 1 1 0 2 0 84/6H RoY-2 2017 24 WSN NL 98 447 412 75 117 24 6 11 45 46 8 30 80 .284 .338 .451 .789 101 186 4 4 0 1 0 6/H 2018 25 WSN NL 162 740 664 103 180 27 6 19 73 43 9 69 132 .271 .344 .416 .760 100 276 7 5 2 0 3 *6/H 2019 26 WSN NL 122 569 521 96 155 37 5 19 57 35 5 43 113 .298 .353 .497 .850 117 259 10 3 0 2 2 *6 2020 27 WSN NL 59 259 233 46 78 15 4 12 41 12 4 22 36 .335 .394 .588 .982 162 137 5 2 0 2 0 *6 MVP-7 2021 28 TOT NL 148 646 595 107 195 34 3 28 77 32 5 41 110 .328 .375 .536 .911 145 319 18 6 0 4 2 64/H AS,MVP-5 2021 28 WSN NL 96 420 388 66 125 17 3 18 49 21 3 26 77 .322 .369 .521 .890 142 202 13 4 0 2 0 6 2021 28 LAD NL 52 226 207 41 70 17 0 10 28 11 2 15 33 .338 .385 .565 .950 149 117 5 2 0 2 2 4/6H 2022 29 LAD NL 160 708 652 101 194 39 4 21 100 27 3 45 131 .298 .343 .466 .809 121 304 9 3 0 6 1 *6 AS,SS What if, by some miracle, the Brewers pull off a deal with Turner? It’ll mean two things. The infield will likely be shaken up, with at least one currently-rostered player standing to lose playing time. Turner has shown the ability to play both middle infield positions, as well as center field. Should the Brewers sign him, decisions will have to be made about who plays and when. More importantly, the Brewers will have finally made the marquee move they’ve been missing in the past two seasons. With other NL Central teams looking to add this offseason, adding a player the caliber of Turner could send the message that the Brewers wish to continue to compete. The value of that can’t be understated. Would you like to see Turner in a Brewers uniform? What do you think it’ll take? Let us hear your thoughts below! View full article
  6. For the second straight season, a handful of star shortstops are testing their luck in free agency. With Willy Adames already handling the everyday shortstop duties, it doesn’t seem likely that the Brewers will be making a move for any of them. However, Trea Turner is too perfect of an opportunity to pass up. The Brewers' offense was plagued with inconsistency during the 2022 season. Trea Turner was not. Turner slashed .298/.343/.466 in 2022 and was a vital piece of a juggernaut Dodgers team. He also earned himself another All-Star selection and a Silver Slugger to boot. It’s safe to say at just 29 years of age, Trea Turner is one of the star infielders in baseball. As of now, Turner stands to sign a contract that could net him upwards of $35 million annually. Still, a true five-tool player entering the prime of his career, it shouldn't be a surprise that Turner is also looking for a lengthy deal. The Milwaukee Brewers have never once spent that level of money, but now could be the time to do so. There’s no question the front office would have to pull some strings. Whether it would be making trades to clear up salary space, or an unusually structured contract, there are ways to lure star players to any franchise. It's not likely, but there is always a slight chance, as evidenced by Minnesota's last-minute acquisition of Carlos Correa in an opt-out-laden deal during Spring Training of 2022. Why Turner? Turner is one the best contact hitters in the sport, has solid power for a middle infielder, is a gold glove-caliber fielder, and is one of the fastest players in the league. With Turner, you're getting a proven star with little downside. The numbers are there to support it too, and Turner has the accolades to back it up, with multiple all-star appearances and silver slugger to his name. Not to mention, Turner’s been present on baseball's brightest stage, too, as he was a key piece on the Nationals championship run in 2019. Given the Brewers' lack of offensive consistency and desire to compete over the next two years as Corbin Burnes, Willy Adames, and Brandon Woodruff approach free agency, Turner could be the perfect sparkplug to sit atop the lineup and complement the right-handed Christian Yelich. Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB Pos Awards 2015 22 WSN NL 27 44 40 5 9 1 0 1 1 2 2 4 12 .225 .295 .325 .620 69 13 0 0 0 0 0 H4/6 2016 23 WSN NL 73 324 307 53 105 14 8 13 40 33 6 14 59 .342 .370 .567 .937 142 174 1 1 0 2 0 84/6H RoY-2 2017 24 WSN NL 98 447 412 75 117 24 6 11 45 46 8 30 80 .284 .338 .451 .789 101 186 4 4 0 1 0 6/H 2018 25 WSN NL 162 740 664 103 180 27 6 19 73 43 9 69 132 .271 .344 .416 .760 100 276 7 5 2 0 3 *6/H 2019 26 WSN NL 122 569 521 96 155 37 5 19 57 35 5 43 113 .298 .353 .497 .850 117 259 10 3 0 2 2 *6 2020 27 WSN NL 59 259 233 46 78 15 4 12 41 12 4 22 36 .335 .394 .588 .982 162 137 5 2 0 2 0 *6 MVP-7 2021 28 TOT NL 148 646 595 107 195 34 3 28 77 32 5 41 110 .328 .375 .536 .911 145 319 18 6 0 4 2 64/H AS,MVP-5 2021 28 WSN NL 96 420 388 66 125 17 3 18 49 21 3 26 77 .322 .369 .521 .890 142 202 13 4 0 2 0 6 2021 28 LAD NL 52 226 207 41 70 17 0 10 28 11 2 15 33 .338 .385 .565 .950 149 117 5 2 0 2 2 4/6H 2022 29 LAD NL 160 708 652 101 194 39 4 21 100 27 3 45 131 .298 .343 .466 .809 121 304 9 3 0 6 1 *6 AS,SS What if, by some miracle, the Brewers pull off a deal with Turner? It’ll mean two things. The infield will likely be shaken up, with at least one currently-rostered player standing to lose playing time. Turner has shown the ability to play both middle infield positions, as well as center field. Should the Brewers sign him, decisions will have to be made about who plays and when. More importantly, the Brewers will have finally made the marquee move they’ve been missing in the past two seasons. With other NL Central teams looking to add this offseason, adding a player the caliber of Turner could send the message that the Brewers wish to continue to compete. The value of that can’t be understated. Would you like to see Turner in a Brewers uniform? What do you think it’ll take? Let us hear your thoughts below!
  7. This past season's injuries and regression exposed the Milwaukee Brewers' lack of starting pitcher depth. While they won't look to acquire a top-line free-agent starter, the Brewers should kick the tires on a mid-level arm to provide quality innings. Image courtesy of © Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports It's unlikely pitchers like Carlos Rodon, Jacob deGrom, or even Jameson Taillon end up in a Brewers jersey. Each of the top eight free-agent starters expects anywhere from three-to-five years for at least $13 million per season. That's probably more than the Brewers are willing to spend with their current roster, especially with other necessary upgrades. However, there are a few hurlers on the next level that can provide the value Milwaukee needs. Zach Eflin (29 years old in April) MLB Trade Rumors Prediction: Two years, $22 million Eflin has owned a 4.08 ERA since the start of 2020 across 49 appearances (41 starts). But his FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) is just 3.57, thanks to a poor Philadelphia Phillies defense behind him. His 23.4% strikeout rate over that time would put him 22nd among qualified starters, while his 4.6% walk rate remains fantastic. Eflin's primary concern would be his home run ratio, sitting at 1.16 homers per nine innings. Of course, half his games were played at Citizens Bank Park, one of the top homer-friendly ballparks since its opening. As you can see from the Baseball Savant numbers above, Eflin was among MLB's best in exit velocity allowed, hard hit percentage, and walk percentage, ranking above the 90th percentile. Those figures counteract the concern with a pitcher who doesn't get as many whiffs as most frontline starters. The Brewers will receive terrific value if Eflin takes two years for $22 million. GM Matt Arnold should feel comfortable going to three years up to $32 million for Eflin, who has proven he can pitch effectively out of the bullpen. That lowers the risk of the third year if he struggles as a starter in 2023-2024. Ross Stripling (33 years old to start 2023) MLB Trade Rumors prediction: Two years, $18 million After a solid beginning to his career as a swingman starter and reliever, Stripling scuffled in 2020 with a slight improvement in 2021. Last season he bounced back for the Toronto Blue Jays, posting a 3.01 ERA across 134.1 innings (24 starts). Stripling relies on getting weak contact and 45% groundballs in his career. He's walked a higher percentage than Eflin but cut his BB% to 3.7% in 2022, and his career rate is better than the league average. Another solid arm for a two-year deal would be a perfect fit, especially for less than $10 million per season. Like with Eflin, his versatility to pitch in relief offers additional options for the Brewers across multiple seasons. Michael Wacha (31 years old to start 2023) MLB Trade Rumors prediction: Two years, $16 million If you're surprised, Wacha is only 31; that makes two of us. The right-hander came up as a 21-year-old and enjoyed six great seasons (3.77) ERA) before dealing with injuries, leading to a 5.11 ERA from 2019-2021. With a 3.32 ERA in Boston last season, Wacha hopes he has rediscovered his form. In fairness, he was a bit lucky in 2022. Wacha's FIP of 4.14 indicates his ERA outperformed his actual output, partially due to his worst strikeout-per-nine-inning rate since 2019 (7.4). The positive was Wacha's 1.115 WHIP and dropping HR/9 rate from 1.7 in 2021 to 1.3 last season. Two years for $18 million isn't a huge commitment, but Wacha has the most risk of these three starters. As a guy with an average strikeout percentage (20.2%) this past season, Wacha produces fewer ground balls than a team would like. Perhaps the Brewers' pitching lab could bump up his skills a notch. Improving his strikeout rate or groundball percentage would make Wacha a solid fixture in the 2023 rotation. Whether or not the Brewers trade Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, or Adrian Houser, they need to ensure they are covered for a full 162 games by adding to their depth. These three hurlers provide experience, a track record, and value in the middle-to-back of a rotation that expects to lead the club back into the postseason. Do you have a favorite among the three, or do you hate them all? View full article
  8. It's unlikely pitchers like Carlos Rodon, Jacob deGrom, or even Jameson Taillon end up in a Brewers jersey. Each of the top eight free-agent starters expects anywhere from three-to-five years for at least $13 million per season. That's probably more than the Brewers are willing to spend with their current roster, especially with other necessary upgrades. However, there are a few hurlers on the next level that can provide the value Milwaukee needs. Zach Eflin (29 years old in April) MLB Trade Rumors Prediction: Two years, $22 million Eflin has owned a 4.08 ERA since the start of 2020 across 49 appearances (41 starts). But his FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) is just 3.57, thanks to a poor Philadelphia Phillies defense behind him. His 23.4% strikeout rate over that time would put him 22nd among qualified starters, while his 4.6% walk rate remains fantastic. Eflin's primary concern would be his home run ratio, sitting at 1.16 homers per nine innings. Of course, half his games were played at Citizens Bank Park, one of the top homer-friendly ballparks since its opening. As you can see from the Baseball Savant numbers above, Eflin was among MLB's best in exit velocity allowed, hard hit percentage, and walk percentage, ranking above the 90th percentile. Those figures counteract the concern with a pitcher who doesn't get as many whiffs as most frontline starters. The Brewers will receive terrific value if Eflin takes two years for $22 million. GM Matt Arnold should feel comfortable going to three years up to $32 million for Eflin, who has proven he can pitch effectively out of the bullpen. That lowers the risk of the third year if he struggles as a starter in 2023-2024. Ross Stripling (33 years old to start 2023) MLB Trade Rumors prediction: Two years, $18 million After a solid beginning to his career as a swingman starter and reliever, Stripling scuffled in 2020 with a slight improvement in 2021. Last season he bounced back for the Toronto Blue Jays, posting a 3.01 ERA across 134.1 innings (24 starts). Stripling relies on getting weak contact and 45% groundballs in his career. He's walked a higher percentage than Eflin but cut his BB% to 3.7% in 2022, and his career rate is better than the league average. Another solid arm for a two-year deal would be a perfect fit, especially for less than $10 million per season. Like with Eflin, his versatility to pitch in relief offers additional options for the Brewers across multiple seasons. Michael Wacha (31 years old to start 2023) MLB Trade Rumors prediction: Two years, $16 million If you're surprised, Wacha is only 31; that makes two of us. The right-hander came up as a 21-year-old and enjoyed six great seasons (3.77) ERA) before dealing with injuries, leading to a 5.11 ERA from 2019-2021. With a 3.32 ERA in Boston last season, Wacha hopes he has rediscovered his form. In fairness, he was a bit lucky in 2022. Wacha's FIP of 4.14 indicates his ERA outperformed his actual output, partially due to his worst strikeout-per-nine-inning rate since 2019 (7.4). The positive was Wacha's 1.115 WHIP and dropping HR/9 rate from 1.7 in 2021 to 1.3 last season. Two years for $18 million isn't a huge commitment, but Wacha has the most risk of these three starters. As a guy with an average strikeout percentage (20.2%) this past season, Wacha produces fewer ground balls than a team would like. Perhaps the Brewers' pitching lab could bump up his skills a notch. Improving his strikeout rate or groundball percentage would make Wacha a solid fixture in the 2023 rotation. Whether or not the Brewers trade Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, or Adrian Houser, they need to ensure they are covered for a full 162 games by adding to their depth. These three hurlers provide experience, a track record, and value in the middle-to-back of a rotation that expects to lead the club back into the postseason. Do you have a favorite among the three, or do you hate them all?
  9. As teams are getting their rosters set for the offseason, there will be a load of movement over the coming week MLB-wide. The Brewers have a number of their own moves for us to look at and get caught up on. Brad Boxberger's option was declined. This move isn’t as shocking of a bullpen move as trading away Josh Hader, but it still comes with some intrigue. Brad Boxberger doesn’t have the stuff to be a lockdown reliever, but for the past three seasons, he has found a way to be a valuable bullpen arm, even if his stuff isn’t great. Over the past two seasons, Boxberger has thrown 128.2 innings with a 3.15 ERA, 10.6 K/9, and a 129 ERA +. While the success has been there, at 34 years old, some trends have made even what was only a $3 million option one to question. From 2021 to 2022, Boxberger saw a drop in his WHIFF% on every one of his pitches. Most significantly, his slider dropped from 33.9% to 23.7%. After the declined option, Boxberger went through waivers unclaimed and could be reunited with the Brewers at a lower salary if they still saw him fitting into their 2023 plans. Brewers trade for catching depth It has been well-documented this season that the Brewers will need to bolster their catching corps. That happened this week, although not quite in the way fans would have hoped. We highlight bringing back one old friend of the Brewers here at Brewers Fanatic, and the Brewers went and brought back a different one in Payton Henry. The hope for Henry has always been that he had power potential in his bat and a good glove. He needed to make enough contact to see that power come to fruition. That led to Henry being the 15th-ranked prospect in the Brewers system in 2020 by mlb.com until he was traded in 2021 to acquire John Curtiss from the Marlins. In 20 MLB games, Henry has hit .143/.314/.143. So he is depth but has some further development before we get too excited about him. RHP Tyson Miller claimed from the Rangers Tyson Miller made his major league debut in 2020 for the Chicago Cubs when he was called up and appeared in two games. Miller saw more action this past season, with the Texas Rangers bringing his total MLB experience up to 6 games, 15 ⅔ innings, and a 9.19 ERA. Going back to 2020, the right-hander was the 26th prospect in the Cubs system, according to mlb.com. At age 27, Miller uses a fastball that averages 91 mph with an 81 mph slider and 86 mph changeup. With that mix, he doesn’t look like a candidate to be a regular major league contributor in any way. Miller is likely coming to the Brewers to add depth at the minor league level if he makes it through the continued roster shuffling that will happen this offseason. If Miller does make it through the offseason on the 40-man, don’t rule out him making an appearance for the Brewers at some point in 2023 since he has some major league experience.
  10. Over the weekend, there were some minor transactions made by the Brewers. Let’s get caught up on them. Image courtesy of © Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports As teams are getting their rosters set for the offseason, there will be a load of movement over the coming week MLB-wide. The Brewers have a number of their own moves for us to look at and get caught up on. Brad Boxberger's option was declined. This move isn’t as shocking of a bullpen move as trading away Josh Hader, but it still comes with some intrigue. Brad Boxberger doesn’t have the stuff to be a lockdown reliever, but for the past three seasons, he has found a way to be a valuable bullpen arm, even if his stuff isn’t great. Over the past two seasons, Boxberger has thrown 128.2 innings with a 3.15 ERA, 10.6 K/9, and a 129 ERA +. While the success has been there, at 34 years old, some trends have made even what was only a $3 million option one to question. From 2021 to 2022, Boxberger saw a drop in his WHIFF% on every one of his pitches. Most significantly, his slider dropped from 33.9% to 23.7%. After the declined option, Boxberger went through waivers unclaimed and could be reunited with the Brewers at a lower salary if they still saw him fitting into their 2023 plans. Brewers trade for catching depth It has been well-documented this season that the Brewers will need to bolster their catching corps. That happened this week, although not quite in the way fans would have hoped. We highlight bringing back one old friend of the Brewers here at Brewers Fanatic, and the Brewers went and brought back a different one in Payton Henry. The hope for Henry has always been that he had power potential in his bat and a good glove. He needed to make enough contact to see that power come to fruition. That led to Henry being the 15th-ranked prospect in the Brewers system in 2020 by mlb.com until he was traded in 2021 to acquire John Curtiss from the Marlins. In 20 MLB games, Henry has hit .143/.314/.143. So he is depth but has some further development before we get too excited about him. RHP Tyson Miller claimed from the Rangers Tyson Miller made his major league debut in 2020 for the Chicago Cubs when he was called up and appeared in two games. Miller saw more action this past season, with the Texas Rangers bringing his total MLB experience up to 6 games, 15 ⅔ innings, and a 9.19 ERA. Going back to 2020, the right-hander was the 26th prospect in the Cubs system, according to mlb.com. At age 27, Miller uses a fastball that averages 91 mph with an 81 mph slider and 86 mph changeup. With that mix, he doesn’t look like a candidate to be a regular major league contributor in any way. Miller is likely coming to the Brewers to add depth at the minor league level if he makes it through the continued roster shuffling that will happen this offseason. If Miller does make it through the offseason on the 40-man, don’t rule out him making an appearance for the Brewers at some point in 2023 since he has some major league experience. View full article
  11. It is rare to willingly get rid of one of the most dominant pitchers in MLB, who also won a Cy Young Award two seasons ago. However, the Milwaukee Brewers have to consider the option of trading Corbin Burnes now to maximize the return package of talent, especially if they aren't going to offer the right-hander a long-term contract. Image courtesy of © MARK HOFFMAN/MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL / USA TODAY NETWORK GM Matt Arnold will have some tough decisions in the coming months and years, but nothing is more significant than determining how to handle Corbin Burnes' time with the Milwaukee Brewers. That could also be affected by what the Brewers decide to do with Brandon Woodruff. It isn't easy to see them keeping both or offering long-term deals before they become free agents in two seasons. Could they trade both? That would be a gamble, too. But let's look squarely at Burnes and his trade candidacy. The 2021 NL Cy Young has been phenomenal since the start of the 2020 season, which means a big payday is on the horizon. Some people need to appreciate how ridiculous Burnes has been in the last three years and how it will impact his salary. Corbin Burnes ranks first among MLB starters in these categories since 2020: 2.60 ERA 2.36 FIP 0.96 WHIP 11.83 K/9 33.3 K% 27.1 K-BB% 7.86 WPA (Win Probability Added) 14.3 fWAR (FanGraphs' Wins Above Replacement) Burnes makes a strong case for being the best pitcher in baseball right now. With two years of arbitration remaining, he would become a free agent after the 2024 season if he doesn't sign a contract extension. Those numbers for a starter who would hit free agency at 30 with mostly good health could generate a record contract. Burnes also tossed more than 200 innings last season while leading the NL with 243 strikeouts, meaning he isn't likely to decline soon. A quick look at recent starting pitcher contracts could legitimately net Burnes a contract for anywhere between five and eight years from $175-$275 million if a big market team is determined to land him. Check out the list below from Spotrac.com and you can see the huge deals for recent starting pitchers. Realistically, the Brewers are unlikely to invest that much in one player, especially with the way the Christian Yelich deal has gone thus far. Pitchers also carry more injury risk. If the organization doesn't want to lose Burnes to free agency without getting anything in return, this offseason could net them the most crucial haul for future success. The question is, can you get fair value back in a trade? For the Brewers to jettison Burnes elsewhere, they need at least a couple of players at the beginning of their MLB careers or on the cusp. Getting two players back who are under team control for five or six years and are ready to contribute now is essential to keep the club from dipping in performance. Then Milwaukee would need a couple of higher-level prospects with significant potential. Ideally, they're getting at least two starting pitchers in the deal and one impact bat. People might argue the return should include a top-20 MLB prospect and three more of the team's best 10 minor leaguers, but that can be subjective. It's going to come down to the right fit for a club that lacks top-tier starting pitching and has the means to sign Burns to a long-term contract. It would help if you also had a team that feels comfortable offensively or is willing to add offense via free agency. They would then feel good about swapping out a solid bat (and the other pieces) for a true ace that puts them over the top. The first two clubs that come to mind as examples are the Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles. Both teams want to push their franchises forward, and their farm systems were ranked sixth and first this past August. Texas has already shown a willingness to pay big bucks by giving Corey Seager and Marcus Semien mega-deals last offseason. The Rangers have six prospects in MLB Pipeline's top 100, including third baseman Josh Jung (#36) and right-handed pitchers Jack Leiter (#45), Owen White (#59), and Brock Porter (#89). Getting Jung and two of those hurlers gets them in the ballpark, then you figure out the fourth player. Texas finished fifth in runs scored (4.36 R/G) in the AL last season but 12th in ERA (4.22), so they would make a considerable jump up with Burnes. Rangers' fans in September were already pining for a rotation with Burnes at the top. How does this sound for Rangers opening day rotation 2023 RHP Corbin Burnes RHP Jon Gray LHP Martin Perez RHP Koudai Senga RHP Dane Dunning — John Moore (The Recliner Nerd) (@reclinernerd) September 13, 2022 No matter who the Brewers get in return for a potential Burnes trade, many in the fanbase will be upset - and there's nothing wrong with that. Unfortunately, moving a player of Burnes' caliber at the right time for the best collection of young talent possible is often the ideal long-term option for continued, sustainable success. The most intriguing question around a Burnes trade might be, when is the best time to make it happen? Should the Brewers see how 2023 starts and trade him at the mid-season deadline if the club is floundering? It gives you another shot at the playoffs with your two aces (assuming Woodruff is still with the club). Do you wait until next offseason when he has just one year left on the contract and has slightly less value? You also risk injury or ineffectiveness curtailing his worth. That potential for injury and a possible dip in value is why many believe that if the Milwaukee Brewers are going to trade Corbin Burnes, this offseason is the time to strike. What do you think about dealing Burnes away, and who should they try to get back? View full article
  12. GM Matt Arnold will have some tough decisions in the coming months and years, but nothing is more significant than determining how to handle Corbin Burnes' time with the Milwaukee Brewers. That could also be affected by what the Brewers decide to do with Brandon Woodruff. It isn't easy to see them keeping both or offering long-term deals before they become free agents in two seasons. Could they trade both? That would be a gamble, too. But let's look squarely at Burnes and his trade candidacy. The 2021 NL Cy Young has been phenomenal since the start of the 2020 season, which means a big payday is on the horizon. Some people need to appreciate how ridiculous Burnes has been in the last three years and how it will impact his salary. Corbin Burnes ranks first among MLB starters in these categories since 2020: 2.60 ERA 2.36 FIP 0.96 WHIP 11.83 K/9 33.3 K% 27.1 K-BB% 7.86 WPA (Win Probability Added) 14.3 fWAR (FanGraphs' Wins Above Replacement) Burnes makes a strong case for being the best pitcher in baseball right now. With two years of arbitration remaining, he would become a free agent after the 2024 season if he doesn't sign a contract extension. Those numbers for a starter who would hit free agency at 30 with mostly good health could generate a record contract. Burnes also tossed more than 200 innings last season while leading the NL with 243 strikeouts, meaning he isn't likely to decline soon. A quick look at recent starting pitcher contracts could legitimately net Burnes a contract for anywhere between five and eight years from $175-$275 million if a big market team is determined to land him. Check out the list below from Spotrac.com and you can see the huge deals for recent starting pitchers. Realistically, the Brewers are unlikely to invest that much in one player, especially with the way the Christian Yelich deal has gone thus far. Pitchers also carry more injury risk. If the organization doesn't want to lose Burnes to free agency without getting anything in return, this offseason could net them the most crucial haul for future success. The question is, can you get fair value back in a trade? For the Brewers to jettison Burnes elsewhere, they need at least a couple of players at the beginning of their MLB careers or on the cusp. Getting two players back who are under team control for five or six years and are ready to contribute now is essential to keep the club from dipping in performance. Then Milwaukee would need a couple of higher-level prospects with significant potential. Ideally, they're getting at least two starting pitchers in the deal and one impact bat. People might argue the return should include a top-20 MLB prospect and three more of the team's best 10 minor leaguers, but that can be subjective. It's going to come down to the right fit for a club that lacks top-tier starting pitching and has the means to sign Burns to a long-term contract. It would help if you also had a team that feels comfortable offensively or is willing to add offense via free agency. They would then feel good about swapping out a solid bat (and the other pieces) for a true ace that puts them over the top. The first two clubs that come to mind as examples are the Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles. Both teams want to push their franchises forward, and their farm systems were ranked sixth and first this past August. Texas has already shown a willingness to pay big bucks by giving Corey Seager and Marcus Semien mega-deals last offseason. The Rangers have six prospects in MLB Pipeline's top 100, including third baseman Josh Jung (#36) and right-handed pitchers Jack Leiter (#45), Owen White (#59), and Brock Porter (#89). Getting Jung and two of those hurlers gets them in the ballpark, then you figure out the fourth player. Texas finished fifth in runs scored (4.36 R/G) in the AL last season but 12th in ERA (4.22), so they would make a considerable jump up with Burnes. Rangers' fans in September were already pining for a rotation with Burnes at the top. How does this sound for Rangers opening day rotation 2023 RHP Corbin Burnes RHP Jon Gray LHP Martin Perez RHP Koudai Senga RHP Dane Dunning — John Moore (The Recliner Nerd) (@reclinernerd) September 13, 2022 No matter who the Brewers get in return for a potential Burnes trade, many in the fanbase will be upset - and there's nothing wrong with that. Unfortunately, moving a player of Burnes' caliber at the right time for the best collection of young talent possible is often the ideal long-term option for continued, sustainable success. The most intriguing question around a Burnes trade might be, when is the best time to make it happen? Should the Brewers see how 2023 starts and trade him at the mid-season deadline if the club is floundering? It gives you another shot at the playoffs with your two aces (assuming Woodruff is still with the club). Do you wait until next offseason when he has just one year left on the contract and has slightly less value? You also risk injury or ineffectiveness curtailing his worth. That potential for injury and a possible dip in value is why many believe that if the Milwaukee Brewers are going to trade Corbin Burnes, this offseason is the time to strike. What do you think about dealing Burnes away, and who should they try to get back?
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