For each division, we will be doing an in-depth look at each team’s situations for the offseason and offer some insights to what would make sense.
We now move to the NL Central… the home of the NL MVP’s Brewers, the never-ending drama’s Cubs, the defensively challenged Cardinals, the “we’re not rebuilding, but we are” Pirates… and the Reds.
- ~$20M (assuming a non-tender for 2B Jonathan Schoop)
Top FA Targets:
- Dallas Keuchel, SP
About as obvious as it comes… the Brewers need a SP and Keuchel is the best name they can realistically get via free agency. He would take the entire remaining budget (minus any trades), but it would be a great fit.
- Yasmani Grandal, C
Similar to Keuchel, the Brew Crew need a reliable catcher to help the staff out. While they could go cheap here, I think Grandal would be a better fit all around than just plugging in a bat at 2B/3B.
- Marwin Gonzalez, UTIL
With Moose a free agent, the expected non-tender of Schoop, and Travis Shaw able to play 2B/3B… Milwaukee needs to fill one of those spots, so why not fill both spots with one player and let the defense have some versatility? Again, Marwin is a fit for basically all 30 teams.
- Brian Dozier, 2P
If they decide to go with upside on a one year deal, Dozier is going to be one of the best names on the market. Could plug into 2B and put Shaw back at 3B in 2019.
- Drew Pomeranz, SP
Potentially the front office may decide on 2-3 good players instead of one really good player… Pomeranz could be paired with another similar player plus Marwin/Dozier and create a deeper team.
Top 3 Trade Possibilities:
- Brewers trade 1B Eric Thames to the Yankees for SP Sonny Gray
The Brewers need pitching and the Yankees need a 1B. Sonny Gray is good as gone and Thames is coming off a terrible year overall. However, the Yankees could clear ~$3M from their payroll and add a guy that is all power and strikeouts… their favorite!
- Brewers trade OF Ryan Braun to the Dodgers for SP Rich Hill and prospect 2B/SS Gavin Lux
Braun has 2 years/$40M (including 2021 buyout) remaining on his contract, the team could reallocate his salary to fill other needs, and the Brewers have a plethora of internal options to play alongside Cain and Yelich. The Dodgers had interest in Braun before and love bloated contracts… the money equals out in year one ($19M for Braun vs $18.6M for Hill) and then Braun has one more year left in 2020 for $17M. Kemp could provide some RH platoon at 1B, where Cody Bellinger struggles vs LHP.
- Brewers trade OF Domingo Santana, SP Zach Davies, and prospect OF Corey Ray to the Indian for SP Carlos Carrasco
Two teams trading from a surplus but maintaining competitiveness. Milwaukee needs a SP and Carrasco would instantly be their ace. The Indians could plug a vacant OF corner (and power bat) spot with Santana, Davies can fill the spot in the rotation, and Ray can continue seasoning in AAA. Most importantly, the Indians can clear ~$8M from the books.
- Brewers trade CF Keon Broxton, SP Jimmy Nelson, and top prospect 2B Keston Hiura to the Mets for SP Noah Syndergaard
If the Mets are going to trade “Thor”, it’s going to take a haul. Two years of Jimmy Nelson, 4 years of Keon Broxton, and the Brew’s top prospect would constitute a haul. The Brewers may even have to toss in one more low-a guy too… but their window is now. For the Mets, they could add Hiura to a young core and build around DeGrom (who I assume will get a shady, under-the-table extension from new GM BVW).