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  1. Are the Brewers going to DFA several players at the end of Spring Training or make a move now to add another optionable player to the 40-man MLB roster? RHPs Tyler Cyr and Manuel Rodriguez are possible additions to consider. Image courtesy of © Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports If you’re like me, you’re perplexed at the number of Optionless Wonders the Brewers have, leaving the bottom of their roster more unsettled than usual. Each of the following six players must make the 26-man Opening Day active roster, be placed on the injured list, or be designated for assignment: RHP Bryse Wilson – no options remaining RHP Gus Varland – Brewers can’t option him because he’s a Rule 5 pick 1B Jon Singleton – no options remaining; can also reject assignment if he passes DFA waivers 1B Keston Hiura – burned final option in 2022 roster management malpractice; can also reject assignment if he passes DFA waivers RHP Javy Guerra – no options remaining; can also reject assignment if he passes DFA waivers RHP Joel Payamps – no options remaining; highly likely to be claimed if we DFA Even if the team wanted to get creative and send players like OF Tyrone Taylor or RHP Adrian Houser down to the minors for a spell or two, they can’t. Those players also have no options remaining. Does this matter? What does it suggest? It may mean that Matt Arnold is comfortable knowing there will be some roster shuffling at the end of Spring Training, with the Brewers letting guys go and replacing them with releases from other teams. However, any semi-decent players released from other teams are likely also to be Optionless Wonders, so this is unlikely to be the case. More likely, this means the Brewers intend to add at least one more Optionable AAAA player to the 40-man roster, with the corresponding move being: a trade of Jon Singleton, Keston Hiura, Javy Guerra, and Joel Payamps; OR a DFA of Bryse Wilson, hoping he’ll scale through waivers so that he can be outrighted to AAA (the Tigers recently outrighted a whopping four players in this manner, including former Brewer catcher Mario Feliciano). The usual place to find worthy Optionable AAAA players this time of year is via the DFA market, which has seen an impressive 51 players made available for claim or trade from December 18th to January 17th. However, we’re really at the tail end of this vibrant market, as free agent signings slow to a trickle, and teams will, at some point, be able to move injured players to the 60-day injured list. Barring any additional DFAs around the league this week, only three Optionable players remain in DFA limbo. Given the logic outlined above, the Brewers are a good bet to pick up at least one of these players: RHP Tyler Cyr (Athletics) – 29 years old; reliever; only pitched 13 1/3 MLB innings (2.70 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 10.8 K/9, .290 BABIP against in 2022); solid MILB results (2.85 ERA in AAA in 2022 with 9.9 K/9, 4.91 ERA in AAA in 2021 with 12.0 K/9, 2.05 ERA in AA in 2019 with 10.6 K/9); MLB fastball averaged 94.4mph in 2022 OF Alberto Rodriguez (Mariners) – 22 years old; LHH right fielder; dipped to a .732 OPS in High-A in 2022 after a .867 OPS in Low-A in 2021, averaging ten homers and 10.5 stolen bases over the two seasons RHP Manuel Rodriguez (Cubs) – 26 years old; reliever; pitched 13 2/3 MLB innings in 2022 (3.29 ERA) and 17 2/3 MLB innings in 2021 (6.11 ERA), but walked 21 against 24 Ks over the two seasons; terrific 12.9 K/9 rate across five minor league campaigns; MLB fastball/slider average dipped to 95-95.9mph in 2022 after 97-97.2mph in 2021 as he’s dealt with injuries in three straight seasons Of the three aforementioned Optionable players, I’d venture that Tyler Cyr is the most likely pick-up if Milwaukee aims to add a high-floor guy who can contribute immediately if called upon. He has been a consistent performer who can also bring respectable heat, with the main blemish being his limited time in the majors (and perhaps his age). Of course, Manuel Rodriguez appears to have more upside, and that 97mph pace may be tempting to take a flier on. I should also mention that Cyr has three option years remaining, while Alberto Rodriguez has two, and Manuel Rodriguez has one. Yes, Cyr could seamlessly yo-yo between MLB and AAA from 2023-2025 with no special roster juggling required. Could the Brewers claim Cyr and not give up any cash or player in return? This is possible, given his age, but two other Optionable pitchers were both nabbed today: RHP Connor Seabold was traded to the Rockies, and the Mariners claimed JB Bukauskas. I’d argue that neither is as attractive a 2023 MLB option as Cyr, so the team may have to give up a relatively minor prospect to the Athletics in return. On a somewhat related note, while some had urged the Brewers to add OF Kyle Garlick (who went unclaimed and was outrighted by the Twins on Tuesday) to play some right field and pinch hit against southpaws, his 14 BB/80 K ratio over the past two seasons was likely a deterrent. Of course, I’m more likely wrong, and the Brewers do absolutely nothing. Let’s see how this week pans out. Which of the remaining players in DFA limbo do you think the Brewers will grab, if any: RHP Manuel Rodriguez, OF Alberto Rodriguez, RHP Tyler Cyr, UTIL Matt Reynolds, or RHP Mark Leiter Jr.? View full article
  2. If you’re like me, you’re perplexed at the number of Optionless Wonders the Brewers have, leaving the bottom of their roster more unsettled than usual. Each of the following six players must make the 26-man Opening Day active roster, be placed on the injured list, or be designated for assignment: RHP Bryse Wilson – no options remaining RHP Gus Varland – Brewers can’t option him because he’s a Rule 5 pick 1B Jon Singleton – no options remaining; can also reject assignment if he passes DFA waivers 1B Keston Hiura – burned final option in 2022 roster management malpractice; can also reject assignment if he passes DFA waivers RHP Javy Guerra – no options remaining; can also reject assignment if he passes DFA waivers RHP Joel Payamps – no options remaining; highly likely to be claimed if we DFA Even if the team wanted to get creative and send players like OF Tyrone Taylor or RHP Adrian Houser down to the minors for a spell or two, they can’t. Those players also have no options remaining. Does this matter? What does it suggest? It may mean that Matt Arnold is comfortable knowing there will be some roster shuffling at the end of Spring Training, with the Brewers letting guys go and replacing them with releases from other teams. However, any semi-decent players released from other teams are likely also to be Optionless Wonders, so this is unlikely to be the case. More likely, this means the Brewers intend to add at least one more Optionable AAAA player to the 40-man roster, with the corresponding move being: a trade of Jon Singleton, Keston Hiura, Javy Guerra, and Joel Payamps; OR a DFA of Bryse Wilson, hoping he’ll scale through waivers so that he can be outrighted to AAA (the Tigers recently outrighted a whopping four players in this manner, including former Brewer catcher Mario Feliciano). The usual place to find worthy Optionable AAAA players this time of year is via the DFA market, which has seen an impressive 51 players made available for claim or trade from December 18th to January 17th. However, we’re really at the tail end of this vibrant market, as free agent signings slow to a trickle, and teams will, at some point, be able to move injured players to the 60-day injured list. Barring any additional DFAs around the league this week, only three Optionable players remain in DFA limbo. Given the logic outlined above, the Brewers are a good bet to pick up at least one of these players: RHP Tyler Cyr (Athletics) – 29 years old; reliever; only pitched 13 1/3 MLB innings (2.70 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 10.8 K/9, .290 BABIP against in 2022); solid MILB results (2.85 ERA in AAA in 2022 with 9.9 K/9, 4.91 ERA in AAA in 2021 with 12.0 K/9, 2.05 ERA in AA in 2019 with 10.6 K/9); MLB fastball averaged 94.4mph in 2022 OF Alberto Rodriguez (Mariners) – 22 years old; LHH right fielder; dipped to a .732 OPS in High-A in 2022 after a .867 OPS in Low-A in 2021, averaging ten homers and 10.5 stolen bases over the two seasons RHP Manuel Rodriguez (Cubs) – 26 years old; reliever; pitched 13 2/3 MLB innings in 2022 (3.29 ERA) and 17 2/3 MLB innings in 2021 (6.11 ERA), but walked 21 against 24 Ks over the two seasons; terrific 12.9 K/9 rate across five minor league campaigns; MLB fastball/slider average dipped to 95-95.9mph in 2022 after 97-97.2mph in 2021 as he’s dealt with injuries in three straight seasons Of the three aforementioned Optionable players, I’d venture that Tyler Cyr is the most likely pick-up if Milwaukee aims to add a high-floor guy who can contribute immediately if called upon. He has been a consistent performer who can also bring respectable heat, with the main blemish being his limited time in the majors (and perhaps his age). Of course, Manuel Rodriguez appears to have more upside, and that 97mph pace may be tempting to take a flier on. I should also mention that Cyr has three option years remaining, while Alberto Rodriguez has two, and Manuel Rodriguez has one. Yes, Cyr could seamlessly yo-yo between MLB and AAA from 2023-2025 with no special roster juggling required. Could the Brewers claim Cyr and not give up any cash or player in return? This is possible, given his age, but two other Optionable pitchers were both nabbed today: RHP Connor Seabold was traded to the Rockies, and the Mariners claimed JB Bukauskas. I’d argue that neither is as attractive a 2023 MLB option as Cyr, so the team may have to give up a relatively minor prospect to the Athletics in return. On a somewhat related note, while some had urged the Brewers to add OF Kyle Garlick (who went unclaimed and was outrighted by the Twins on Tuesday) to play some right field and pinch hit against southpaws, his 14 BB/80 K ratio over the past two seasons was likely a deterrent. Of course, I’m more likely wrong, and the Brewers do absolutely nothing. Let’s see how this week pans out. Which of the remaining players in DFA limbo do you think the Brewers will grab, if any: RHP Manuel Rodriguez, OF Alberto Rodriguez, RHP Tyler Cyr, UTIL Matt Reynolds, or RHP Mark Leiter Jr.?
  3. The Brewers' bullpen had its share of ups and downs in 2022. With the midseason trade of closer Josh Hader, the entire group saw a change in roles, and the 2023 bullpen will look a bit different. We'll take a look at the Steamer projections and more today. Image courtesy of © Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports The Brewer bullpen took on a new look at the trade deadline in July of 2022 when All-Star closer and fan favorite Josh Hader was sent to the Padres for a package of players, including Padres closer Taylor Rogers. The Brewers pen struggled at times down the stretch, with Rogers never regaining his previous form and Matt Bush (acquired from the Texas Rangers) giving up six home runs in only 23 innings pitched. The Brewer relief corps still had its share of bright spots in 2022. Devin Williams was a dominant force after a rocky first month, posting an ERA of 1.93 and striking out 96 in just 60 2/3 innings. Hoby Milner became a useful middle-inning reliever and should figure into the Brewers' plans again in 2023. Peter Strzelecki, a 27-year-old rookie, pitched well in limited use, with an ERA under three and punching out just over ten batters per nine innings pitched. Looking ahead, however, the Brewers' pen is going to have a very different look next year. Gone (obviously) is Hader, as are Taylor Rogers. Brad Boxberger, Brent Suter, and Trevor Gott who have signed free-agent contracts elsewhere. As we stand near the end of December, what does this leave the Brewers relief corps looking like? And what do the Steamer projections think of the arms they currently have? Name Team GS G IP W L QS SV HLD H ER HR SO BB WHIP K/9 BB/9 ERA FIP WAR RA9-WAR ADP Devin Williams MIL 0 65 65.0 4 3 0 28 2 49 22 6 84 29 1.20 11.69 4.07 3.12 3.20 0.8 0.9 999.0 Matt Bush MIL 0 63 63.0 3 3 0 2 12 52 25 8 77 23 1.19 10.93 3.22 3.53 3.46 0.6 0.6 999.0 Jake Cousins MIL 0 58 58.0 3 3 0 0 10 49 24 7 67 26 1.29 10.34 4.07 3.72 3.80 0.3 0.4 999.0 Hoby Milner MIL 0 62 62.0 3 3 0 1 12 60 27 8 58 19 1.27 8.48 2.70 3.88 3.96 0.2 0.3 999.0 Joel Payamps MIL 0 54 54.0 3 3 0 0 6 53 25 7 46 18 1.31 7.72 3.03 4.11 4.23 0.2 0.1 999.0 Peter Strzelecki MIL 0 63 63.0 3 3 0 1 14 56 28 8 67 25 1.29 9.55 3.60 4.03 4.07 0.1 0.3 999.0 Jason Alexander MIL 5 43 65.0 3 4 2 0 1 70 32 8 46 21 1.39 6.32 2.90 4.40 4.47 0.1 0.1 999.0 Ethan Small MIL 3 37 52.0 3 3 1 0 1 49 25 7 48 25 1.42 8.35 4.40 4.33 4.61 0.0 0.2 999.0 Janson Junk MIL 2 14 21.0 1 1 1 0 1 21 10 3 18 6 1.29 7.55 2.54 4.39 4.44 0.0 0.1 999.0 Elvis Peguero MIL 0 20 20.0 1 1 0 0 1 19 9 2 18 8 1.34 8.09 3.38 4.01 4.08 0.0 0.0 999.0 As always, it's important to remember that these projections are middle-ground models, Devin Williams, "The Last Airbender," as affectionately named by fans, looks to slot into the closer role, as he did down the stretch in 2022. While understanding how projections work, I'm a bit surprised at the projected K/9 rate, as he's been at 14.5/9 and 14.2/9 each of the previous two seasons. It's unlikely the Brewers will spend whatever budget they have left on a closer, so it's a solid bet that Williams takes this role. Despite the relative volatility of relievers, I think the Brewers have seen enough dominance from Williams to hand him the role and expect results. Hoby Milner pitched well for the first half of 2022 but struggled a bit down the stretch. A high 80's sidearm lefty, Milner had struggled in the majors before last year but found success on the Brewers' staff. Steamer's projections for Milner see a return to form, but it remains to be seen if Milner's season was marred by wearing down or if the league has seen his offerings enough not to be fooled by his sidearm delivery. Steamer's projections for Matt Bush look solid enough, and if he can punch out 10.9/9ip and post an ERA in the mid three's, he could vie for the seventh or eighth-inning role. He'll need to get the home runs under control, as he gave up eleven in under 60 innings between Texas and Milwaukee. Jake Cousins has been very good for the Brewers when he's healthy but comes into 2023 with less than 50 major league innings under his belt. Steamer projects him conservatively for an ERA just under four but also projects 58 innings pitched. If Cousins can stay on the field and pitch well, he may also contend for a late-inning role. Newly acquired Joel Payamps should figure strongly into the mix in a middle-inning role. Payamps has been effective in the previous two seasons as a heavy ground ball pitcher, striking out less than seven per nine but having an over 2-1 ground ball to fly out ratio. Steamer projects Payamps to take a bit of a jump in his strikeout rate but conservatively projects him to have an ERA over four this season. I don't know if Steamer projections are taking the ban on the shift into account, but that definitely will hurt groundball pitchers like Payamps. Peter Strzelecki was brought up to the big club in June and pitched effectively out of the pen for the Crew, pinning down an ERA of 2.83 and striking out ten per nine innings. Strzelecki should be in the club's bullpen blueprint for 2023. Steamer projects him for an ERA just a shade over four while maintaining his strikeout rate. Depending on how he continues to develop, he could slot into a long or middle-inning role. There are other players, of course, and the Brewers will likely end up with fifteen or more players contributing in the pen. These are the guys they have now who are the most prominent contributors. As it stands, one of the more pressing needs for the Brewers for the rest of the off-season is a front-end bullpen piece. Aside from Devin Williams, there appear to be only a few who project to be dominating, a shut-down reliever who can reliably nail down a late-inning role. The Brewers' bullpens recently have had fairly well-defined roles, with Josh Hader, Devin Williams, and Brad Boxberger handling those duties. Despite these projections being "regression to the mean," nobody here stands out (and I even feel that Williams' projection is overly conservative). But it may be that someone like Cousins or Strzelecki takes a step forward and becomes that next dominant eighth-inning reliever that Williams did in 2020. What do you think, Brewer Fanatics? Is the bullpen ready to tackle 2023? How do the Steamer projections look? How do you think the roles will shake out in the coming season? Let us know in the comment section! View full article
  4. The Brewer bullpen took on a new look at the trade deadline in July of 2022 when All-Star closer and fan favorite Josh Hader was sent to the Padres for a package of players, including Padres closer Taylor Rogers. The Brewers pen struggled at times down the stretch, with Rogers never regaining his previous form and Matt Bush (acquired from the Texas Rangers) giving up six home runs in only 23 innings pitched. The Brewer relief corps still had its share of bright spots in 2022. Devin Williams was a dominant force after a rocky first month, posting an ERA of 1.93 and striking out 96 in just 60 2/3 innings. Hoby Milner became a useful middle-inning reliever and should figure into the Brewers' plans again in 2023. Peter Strzelecki, a 27-year-old rookie, pitched well in limited use, with an ERA under three and punching out just over ten batters per nine innings pitched. Looking ahead, however, the Brewers' pen is going to have a very different look next year. Gone (obviously) is Hader, as are Taylor Rogers. Brad Boxberger, Brent Suter, and Trevor Gott who have signed free-agent contracts elsewhere. As we stand near the end of December, what does this leave the Brewers relief corps looking like? And what do the Steamer projections think of the arms they currently have? Name Team GS G IP W L QS SV HLD H ER HR SO BB WHIP K/9 BB/9 ERA FIP WAR RA9-WAR ADP Devin Williams MIL 0 65 65.0 4 3 0 28 2 49 22 6 84 29 1.20 11.69 4.07 3.12 3.20 0.8 0.9 999.0 Matt Bush MIL 0 63 63.0 3 3 0 2 12 52 25 8 77 23 1.19 10.93 3.22 3.53 3.46 0.6 0.6 999.0 Jake Cousins MIL 0 58 58.0 3 3 0 0 10 49 24 7 67 26 1.29 10.34 4.07 3.72 3.80 0.3 0.4 999.0 Hoby Milner MIL 0 62 62.0 3 3 0 1 12 60 27 8 58 19 1.27 8.48 2.70 3.88 3.96 0.2 0.3 999.0 Joel Payamps MIL 0 54 54.0 3 3 0 0 6 53 25 7 46 18 1.31 7.72 3.03 4.11 4.23 0.2 0.1 999.0 Peter Strzelecki MIL 0 63 63.0 3 3 0 1 14 56 28 8 67 25 1.29 9.55 3.60 4.03 4.07 0.1 0.3 999.0 Jason Alexander MIL 5 43 65.0 3 4 2 0 1 70 32 8 46 21 1.39 6.32 2.90 4.40 4.47 0.1 0.1 999.0 Ethan Small MIL 3 37 52.0 3 3 1 0 1 49 25 7 48 25 1.42 8.35 4.40 4.33 4.61 0.0 0.2 999.0 Janson Junk MIL 2 14 21.0 1 1 1 0 1 21 10 3 18 6 1.29 7.55 2.54 4.39 4.44 0.0 0.1 999.0 Elvis Peguero MIL 0 20 20.0 1 1 0 0 1 19 9 2 18 8 1.34 8.09 3.38 4.01 4.08 0.0 0.0 999.0 As always, it's important to remember that these projections are middle-ground models, Devin Williams, "The Last Airbender," as affectionately named by fans, looks to slot into the closer role, as he did down the stretch in 2022. While understanding how projections work, I'm a bit surprised at the projected K/9 rate, as he's been at 14.5/9 and 14.2/9 each of the previous two seasons. It's unlikely the Brewers will spend whatever budget they have left on a closer, so it's a solid bet that Williams takes this role. Despite the relative volatility of relievers, I think the Brewers have seen enough dominance from Williams to hand him the role and expect results. Hoby Milner pitched well for the first half of 2022 but struggled a bit down the stretch. A high 80's sidearm lefty, Milner had struggled in the majors before last year but found success on the Brewers' staff. Steamer's projections for Milner see a return to form, but it remains to be seen if Milner's season was marred by wearing down or if the league has seen his offerings enough not to be fooled by his sidearm delivery. Steamer's projections for Matt Bush look solid enough, and if he can punch out 10.9/9ip and post an ERA in the mid three's, he could vie for the seventh or eighth-inning role. He'll need to get the home runs under control, as he gave up eleven in under 60 innings between Texas and Milwaukee. Jake Cousins has been very good for the Brewers when he's healthy but comes into 2023 with less than 50 major league innings under his belt. Steamer projects him conservatively for an ERA just under four but also projects 58 innings pitched. If Cousins can stay on the field and pitch well, he may also contend for a late-inning role. Newly acquired Joel Payamps should figure strongly into the mix in a middle-inning role. Payamps has been effective in the previous two seasons as a heavy ground ball pitcher, striking out less than seven per nine but having an over 2-1 ground ball to fly out ratio. Steamer projects Payamps to take a bit of a jump in his strikeout rate but conservatively projects him to have an ERA over four this season. I don't know if Steamer projections are taking the ban on the shift into account, but that definitely will hurt groundball pitchers like Payamps. Peter Strzelecki was brought up to the big club in June and pitched effectively out of the pen for the Crew, pinning down an ERA of 2.83 and striking out ten per nine innings. Strzelecki should be in the club's bullpen blueprint for 2023. Steamer projects him for an ERA just a shade over four while maintaining his strikeout rate. Depending on how he continues to develop, he could slot into a long or middle-inning role. There are other players, of course, and the Brewers will likely end up with fifteen or more players contributing in the pen. These are the guys they have now who are the most prominent contributors. As it stands, one of the more pressing needs for the Brewers for the rest of the off-season is a front-end bullpen piece. Aside from Devin Williams, there appear to be only a few who project to be dominating, a shut-down reliever who can reliably nail down a late-inning role. The Brewers' bullpens recently have had fairly well-defined roles, with Josh Hader, Devin Williams, and Brad Boxberger handling those duties. Despite these projections being "regression to the mean," nobody here stands out (and I even feel that Williams' projection is overly conservative). But it may be that someone like Cousins or Strzelecki takes a step forward and becomes that next dominant eighth-inning reliever that Williams did in 2020. What do you think, Brewer Fanatics? Is the bullpen ready to tackle 2023? How do the Steamer projections look? How do you think the roles will shake out in the coming season? Let us know in the comment section!
  5. Brewers General Manager Matt Arnold surprised everyone on Monday afternoon when he pulled the trigger on a trade that brought all-star catcher William Contreras to Milwaukee to replace outgoing Omar Narvaez. We'll look at the trade and the Brewers' roster in the wake of this enormous acquisition. Image courtesy of © Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports Before I say anything about the numbers, data, stats, or anything else, it has to be said that this deal was an absolute steal from the Brewers' standpoint. Even if you question the methodology or accuracy of sites like Baseball Trade Values, the Brewers got a fantastic deal, value-wise, compared to what they gave up. If you have yet to see it anywhere else... Baseball Trade Values won't even allow that trade to go through. It's tilted at 33.2 million dollars in surplus value in favor of the Brewers. Again, I understand that sites like these are just a starting point, and scouts and general managers have many advanced ways to evaluate trades, but at first blush, this one looks like highway robbery. Trades involving prospects are always best evaluated after they hit the big leagues and their impact on the big clubs is better felt. Still, everyone feels confident from the Brewer standpoint that giving up Esteury Ruiz for a young, slugging catcher and two relievers is a good deal right now. So what did the Brewers get, and what did they give up? Ruiz came over in the Josh Hader trade this past summer, and while he might have been looked at as the centerpiece of that particular trade, many looked at the return the Brewers got for the premier closer in the game to be light. Ruiz put up excellent numbers at Nashville after being acquired, and while he doesn't have the kind of bat that scouts expect to produce much power at the big league level, he has elite speed, stealing 85 bags over three levels in the minors last year. Another thing holding Ruiz back (at least in Milwaukee) will be the trio of talented outfielders already knocking on the door in Garrett Mitchell, Sal Frelick, and Joey Wiemer, not to mention the fast-rising and ultra-talented Jackson Chourio. Flipping a piece of the Hader trade then for a young, cost-controlled all-star catcher had to be a no-brainer for Matt Arnold and the Brewers front office. William Contreras emerged from the long shadow of his three-time all-star brother Willson last year to put together a big campaign for the Braves. With a .278/.354/.506 slash line and a healthy 138 ops+, Contreras was a first-time all-star at age 24. Contreras mauled left-handed pitching last year with a 1.036 OPS, which is an area the Brewers struggled all season long, so having his power bat from the right side of the plate in the middle of the order will be an immediate boost for the offense. He was still capable against right-handed pitching with a .784 OPS. I Split G GS PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB ROE BAbip tOPS+ vs RHP 139 416 374 49 91 12 1 21 51 1 0 38 120 .243 .315 .449 .764 168 5 2 0 2 2 2 .298 89 vs LHP 76 155 133 21 41 7 1 7 18 1 0 20 42 .308 .400 .534 .934 71 3 1 0 1 0 1 .400 132 vs RHP as RHB 139 416 374 91 12 1 21 51 0 0 38 120 .243 .315 .449 .764 168 5 2 0 2 2 2 .298 89 vs LHP as RHB 76 155 133 41 7 1 7 18 0 0 20 42 .308 .400 .534 .934 71 3 1 0 1 0 1 .400 132 vs RH Starter 106 95 392 350 44 83 9 1 19 39 0 0 38 117 .237 .314 .431 .745 151 5 2 0 2 2 2 .296 84 vs LH Starter 47 43 179 157 26 49 10 1 9 30 2 0 20 45 .312 .391 .561 .952 88 3 1 0 1 0 1 .385 135 Baseball-Reference rates Contreras' defense a bit higher than Fangraphs. At BR, he's listed at 0.0 dWAR for the last two years at BR. Fangraphs is a little more negative on his defense. Season Team Level Batting Base Running Fielding Positional Offense Defense League Replacement RAR WAR Dollars Salary 2020 ATL MLB 0.5 -0.1 0.0 0.2 0.4 0.2 -0.1 0.3 0.9 0.1 $0.7 2021 ATL MLB -3.2 -0.8 -5.9 3.6 -4.1 -2.3 0.4 5.8 -0.2 0.0 -$0.2 2022 ATL MLB 16.6 -2.6 -4.1 0.7 14.0 -3.4 1.4 11.2 23.3 2.4 $19.5 Total - - - MLB 13.9 -3.6 -10.0 4.5 10.4 -5.5 1.8 17.3 23.9 2.5 $20.1 With Victor Caratini most likely returning this year, it will be interesting to see how the catching duties are split and if Contreras spends any appreciable time at DH again, as he did in Atlanta in 2022. Either way, his defensive numbers aren't so bad as to viably negate his offensive value. The Brewers control Contreras through the 2027 season, so they're looking at five years of control through Contreras' age 29 season. Having those years of control for a team like the Brewers that will have to flip assets for prospects routinely is extremely valuable, especially when they're still in a competitive window with Burnes, Woodruff, and Peralta. Of the two relievers the Brewers acquired in the trade, Joel Payamps has seen major league experience, pitching over 50 innings each of the past two seasons. He's produced an earned run average of 3.35 over 113 major league innings, with a FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) of 4.19. Payamps is not a big strikeout pitcher, punching out 6.7 batters per nine innings over his career, and that number has been consistent. Payamps throws a mid 90's four-seamer, mixed with a heavy sinker, slider, and occasional changeup that he relies on to induce an almost two-to-one groundball to flyout ratio. (per FanGraphs) Season Team Level GB/FB LD% GB% FB% IFFB% HR/FB IFH% BUH% Pull% Cent% Oppo% Soft% Med% Hard% SIERA xFIP- xFIP 2019 ARI MLB 0.20 40.0% 10.0% 50.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 36.4% 45.5% 18.2% 18.2% 27.3% 54.5% 6.63 146 6.45 2020 ARI MLB 0.50 62.5% 12.5% 25.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 37.5% 37.5% 25.0% 0.0% 25.0% 75.0% 7.49 138 6.14 2021 2 Tms MLB 1.08 14.6% 44.4% 41.1% 16.1% 9.7% 14.9% 0.0% 43.4% 32.9% 23.7% 21.1% 52.0% 27.0% 4.33 110 4.73 2022 2 Tms MLB 1.73 16.7% 52.8% 30.6% 21.8% 12.7% 11.6% 50.0% 47.3% 33.0% 19.8% 20.9% 52.7% 26.4% 3.86 103 4.07 Total - - - MLB 1.32 17.5% 47.0% 35.5% 17.7% 10.5% 12.8% 25.0% 45.0% 33.4% 21.5% 20.4% 51.0% 28.6% 4.27 109 4.50 While Payamps has relied on weak contact and groundballs to produce results, it would still be nice to see him push that K/9 rate more up around eight or nine punchouts per nine innings. Even so, if he can produce a low 3's ERA like he has the past two seasons, he can be a solid addition to the middle of the Brewers bullpen. The last piece acquired by the Brewers in the trade, Justin Yeager, came from the Braves. Yeager is a 24-year-old reliever who reached AA Mississippi in the Braves system this season. The right-hander works in the high 90's with his four-seamer but can touch 100, and he struck out 81 batters in 52.1 innings this past season. On the flip side, he also walked 32 batters and 66 batters in just 117.2 innings worked in affiliated ball. While Yeager certainly has the physical tools to be successful, gaining control of his repertoire will decide how far up the prospect ladder Yeager can climb. This trade (as many do) came out of left field for Brewers fans and certainly felt like a nice pre-holiday treat. It certainly shakes up the lineup and gives the team a little more (or a lot more) punch against left-handed pitching, and adds a reliable, if unspectacular, arm to the middle of the bullpen. At the same time, the Brewers were dealing from a position of depth and strength to strengthen their major league roster. Contreras should slot into the middle of the order and give the Brewers some much-needed right-hand power after the Hunter Renfroe trade. What do you think, Brewer Fanatics? Is Matt Arnold done making trades, or is something more on the horizon? What other moves might he have to improve the team before opening day? Let us know what you think in the comments! View full article
  6. Before I say anything about the numbers, data, stats, or anything else, it has to be said that this deal was an absolute steal from the Brewers' standpoint. Even if you question the methodology or accuracy of sites like Baseball Trade Values, the Brewers got a fantastic deal, value-wise, compared to what they gave up. If you have yet to see it anywhere else... Baseball Trade Values won't even allow that trade to go through. It's tilted at 33.2 million dollars in surplus value in favor of the Brewers. Again, I understand that sites like these are just a starting point, and scouts and general managers have many advanced ways to evaluate trades, but at first blush, this one looks like highway robbery. Trades involving prospects are always best evaluated after they hit the big leagues and their impact on the big clubs is better felt. Still, everyone feels confident from the Brewer standpoint that giving up Esteury Ruiz for a young, slugging catcher and two relievers is a good deal right now. So what did the Brewers get, and what did they give up? Ruiz came over in the Josh Hader trade this past summer, and while he might have been looked at as the centerpiece of that particular trade, many looked at the return the Brewers got for the premier closer in the game to be light. Ruiz put up excellent numbers at Nashville after being acquired, and while he doesn't have the kind of bat that scouts expect to produce much power at the big league level, he has elite speed, stealing 85 bags over three levels in the minors last year. Another thing holding Ruiz back (at least in Milwaukee) will be the trio of talented outfielders already knocking on the door in Garrett Mitchell, Sal Frelick, and Joey Wiemer, not to mention the fast-rising and ultra-talented Jackson Chourio. Flipping a piece of the Hader trade then for a young, cost-controlled all-star catcher had to be a no-brainer for Matt Arnold and the Brewers front office. William Contreras emerged from the long shadow of his three-time all-star brother Willson last year to put together a big campaign for the Braves. With a .278/.354/.506 slash line and a healthy 138 ops+, Contreras was a first-time all-star at age 24. Contreras mauled left-handed pitching last year with a 1.036 OPS, which is an area the Brewers struggled all season long, so having his power bat from the right side of the plate in the middle of the order will be an immediate boost for the offense. He was still capable against right-handed pitching with a .784 OPS. I Split G GS PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB ROE BAbip tOPS+ vs RHP 139 416 374 49 91 12 1 21 51 1 0 38 120 .243 .315 .449 .764 168 5 2 0 2 2 2 .298 89 vs LHP 76 155 133 21 41 7 1 7 18 1 0 20 42 .308 .400 .534 .934 71 3 1 0 1 0 1 .400 132 vs RHP as RHB 139 416 374 91 12 1 21 51 0 0 38 120 .243 .315 .449 .764 168 5 2 0 2 2 2 .298 89 vs LHP as RHB 76 155 133 41 7 1 7 18 0 0 20 42 .308 .400 .534 .934 71 3 1 0 1 0 1 .400 132 vs RH Starter 106 95 392 350 44 83 9 1 19 39 0 0 38 117 .237 .314 .431 .745 151 5 2 0 2 2 2 .296 84 vs LH Starter 47 43 179 157 26 49 10 1 9 30 2 0 20 45 .312 .391 .561 .952 88 3 1 0 1 0 1 .385 135 Baseball-Reference rates Contreras' defense a bit higher than Fangraphs. At BR, he's listed at 0.0 dWAR for the last two years at BR. Fangraphs is a little more negative on his defense. Season Team Level Batting Base Running Fielding Positional Offense Defense League Replacement RAR WAR Dollars Salary 2020 ATL MLB 0.5 -0.1 0.0 0.2 0.4 0.2 -0.1 0.3 0.9 0.1 $0.7 2021 ATL MLB -3.2 -0.8 -5.9 3.6 -4.1 -2.3 0.4 5.8 -0.2 0.0 -$0.2 2022 ATL MLB 16.6 -2.6 -4.1 0.7 14.0 -3.4 1.4 11.2 23.3 2.4 $19.5 Total - - - MLB 13.9 -3.6 -10.0 4.5 10.4 -5.5 1.8 17.3 23.9 2.5 $20.1 With Victor Caratini most likely returning this year, it will be interesting to see how the catching duties are split and if Contreras spends any appreciable time at DH again, as he did in Atlanta in 2022. Either way, his defensive numbers aren't so bad as to viably negate his offensive value. The Brewers control Contreras through the 2027 season, so they're looking at five years of control through Contreras' age 29 season. Having those years of control for a team like the Brewers that will have to flip assets for prospects routinely is extremely valuable, especially when they're still in a competitive window with Burnes, Woodruff, and Peralta. Of the two relievers the Brewers acquired in the trade, Joel Payamps has seen major league experience, pitching over 50 innings each of the past two seasons. He's produced an earned run average of 3.35 over 113 major league innings, with a FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) of 4.19. Payamps is not a big strikeout pitcher, punching out 6.7 batters per nine innings over his career, and that number has been consistent. Payamps throws a mid 90's four-seamer, mixed with a heavy sinker, slider, and occasional changeup that he relies on to induce an almost two-to-one groundball to flyout ratio. (per FanGraphs) Season Team Level GB/FB LD% GB% FB% IFFB% HR/FB IFH% BUH% Pull% Cent% Oppo% Soft% Med% Hard% SIERA xFIP- xFIP 2019 ARI MLB 0.20 40.0% 10.0% 50.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 36.4% 45.5% 18.2% 18.2% 27.3% 54.5% 6.63 146 6.45 2020 ARI MLB 0.50 62.5% 12.5% 25.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 37.5% 37.5% 25.0% 0.0% 25.0% 75.0% 7.49 138 6.14 2021 2 Tms MLB 1.08 14.6% 44.4% 41.1% 16.1% 9.7% 14.9% 0.0% 43.4% 32.9% 23.7% 21.1% 52.0% 27.0% 4.33 110 4.73 2022 2 Tms MLB 1.73 16.7% 52.8% 30.6% 21.8% 12.7% 11.6% 50.0% 47.3% 33.0% 19.8% 20.9% 52.7% 26.4% 3.86 103 4.07 Total - - - MLB 1.32 17.5% 47.0% 35.5% 17.7% 10.5% 12.8% 25.0% 45.0% 33.4% 21.5% 20.4% 51.0% 28.6% 4.27 109 4.50 While Payamps has relied on weak contact and groundballs to produce results, it would still be nice to see him push that K/9 rate more up around eight or nine punchouts per nine innings. Even so, if he can produce a low 3's ERA like he has the past two seasons, he can be a solid addition to the middle of the Brewers bullpen. The last piece acquired by the Brewers in the trade, Justin Yeager, came from the Braves. Yeager is a 24-year-old reliever who reached AA Mississippi in the Braves system this season. The right-hander works in the high 90's with his four-seamer but can touch 100, and he struck out 81 batters in 52.1 innings this past season. On the flip side, he also walked 32 batters and 66 batters in just 117.2 innings worked in affiliated ball. While Yeager certainly has the physical tools to be successful, gaining control of his repertoire will decide how far up the prospect ladder Yeager can climb. This trade (as many do) came out of left field for Brewers fans and certainly felt like a nice pre-holiday treat. It certainly shakes up the lineup and gives the team a little more (or a lot more) punch against left-handed pitching, and adds a reliable, if unspectacular, arm to the middle of the bullpen. At the same time, the Brewers were dealing from a position of depth and strength to strengthen their major league roster. Contreras should slot into the middle of the order and give the Brewers some much-needed right-hand power after the Hunter Renfroe trade. What do you think, Brewer Fanatics? Is Matt Arnold done making trades, or is something more on the horizon? What other moves might he have to improve the team before opening day? Let us know what you think in the comments!
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