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  1. #1
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    '17-'18 Offseason Thread

    Figured I'd start a thread for the offseason. I'll list out a few of the key decisions we have to make as well.

    Free Agents: We'll have 4 guys currently on the roster who will be free agents. Those guys are Swarzak, Walker, Sogard and Garza.

    Players under contract: Technically, I believe Braun and Thames are the only players who are under contract next year.

    Pre-arb and arb players. I believe everyone else on the roster is either in Arbitration and Pre-arbitration. That means that we can tender or non-tender them a contract. My assumption is that most guys will be tendered. Its not worth discussing everyone, since guys like Shaw, Arcia and a bunch of others will obviously be tendered. But I figured I would list it because that does mean guys on the bottom of the roster can be non-tendered without costing us any money.

    40 Man Roster Adds: As it sits, our 40 man roster will sit at 36 players after the season (open spots for the 4 free agents.) In the minors, we have guys that need to be added to the 40 man in order to protect them from the rule 5 draft. There's a whole bunch of guys who are technically eligible. But the ones who are have a chance to be taken in the rule 5 are Mauricio Dubon, Freddy Peralta, Marcos Diplan, Jacob Nottingham, Tristan Archer, Kyle Wren, and maybe Nate Orf. Clint Coulter is also on the list, but he's highly unlikely to be drafted. (All of these names are from Brewfan.net). I'm assuming he's correct, but I didn't verify this all.

    40 man roster subtracts: Obviously, trades and other moves could result in 40 man roster spots opening up. But I will list a handful of guys who potentially be DFA'd to open up a roster spot. Potential DFA guys are probably Adrian Houser, Wei-Chung Wang, Tyler Webb, Aaron Wilkerson, Jett Bandy, Andrew Susac and Quintin Berry. I suppose you could add guys like Oliver Drake, Carlos Torres and Jeremy Jeffress in as well if you wanted.

    Then we can obviously discuss potential trades and free agent additions as well. But I figured the above information can be a primer for some potential moves. As you see, we do have some kind of tough calls to make on 40 man roster additions. I would assume we fill our 40 man to protect rule 5 guys as soon as possible, then DFA or trade them as sign FAs.

  2. #2
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    For me, I'd try to resign Walker and Swarzak, assuming the deals are reasonable. I would consider re-signing Sogard. But if we resign Sogard, then I'd be dealing or DFAing Villar. I think we only need one of them on the roster. So basically, keep only one of Sogard or Villar.

    I would protect Dubon, Peralta, Diplan and maybe Archer. I'm looking to trade Wren, possibly just for cash or for a low level wild card, but I'm not sure that's doable. I don't think a team will be able to keep a guy like Nottingham on the 25 man all year, so I'm not too worried about losing him.

    With letting Garza walk and only keeping one of Sogard or Villar, I'd still need to open up two roster spots. Quentin Berry and Adrian Houser are DFA guys for me. I would probably also DFA one of Susac or Bandy, but its probably Susac, assuming we keep Vogt. This should open up a roster spot for a free agent. If we sign a couple guys, Wang or Web, then probably Drake are my next DFA guys.

    I wouldn't DFA them, but I'd be looking for a trade partner for Broxton. If we can bring in an additional starter this offseason, then I'd probably consider dealing Wilkerson as well, even though he probably doesn't fetch much. I could see a team taking a chance on him as a cheap 5th starter/swing guy. That could open up 2 more spots.

    As for free agency, I'm targeting pitching. We need another decent reliever, possibly 2 or 3 if we let Swarzak talk and plan on moving Hader to the rotation. If we are okay keeping Hader in the pen, I'd look for another starter. Ideally, we'd be willing to trade prospects, even one of Phillips or Brinson, for a top notch starter. If we can't get that done, then I'd consider a Lance Lynn or Alex Cobb type if we can sign them to a 2-3 year deal at most.

  3. #3
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    Just getting Garza off the books should allow the Brewers to sign a decent FA.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by crewfan13 View Post
    For me, I'd try to resign Walker and Swarzak, assuming the deals are reasonable. I would consider re-signing Sogard. But if we resign Sogard, then I'd be dealing or DFAing Villar. I think we only need one of them on the roster. So basically, keep only one of Sogard or Villar.

    I would protect Dubon, Peralta, Diplan and maybe Archer. I'm looking to trade Wren, possibly just for cash or for a low level wild card, but I'm not sure that's doable. I don't think a team will be able to keep a guy like Nottingham on the 25 man all year, so I'm not too worried about losing him.

    With letting Garza walk and only keeping one of Sogard or Villar, I'd still need to open up two roster spots. Quentin Berry and Adrian Houser are DFA guys for me. I would probably also DFA one of Susac or Bandy, but its probably Susac, assuming we keep Vogt. This should open up a roster spot for a free agent. If we sign a couple guys, Wang or Web, then probably Drake are my next DFA guys.

    I wouldn't DFA them, but I'd be looking for a trade partner for Broxton. If we can bring in an additional starter this offseason, then I'd probably consider dealing Wilkerson as well, even though he probably doesn't fetch much. I could see a team taking a chance on him as a cheap 5th starter/swing guy. That could open up 2 more spots.

    As for free agency, I'm targeting pitching. We need another decent reliever, possibly 2 or 3 if we let Swarzak talk and plan on moving Hader to the rotation. If we are okay keeping Hader in the pen, I'd look for another starter. Ideally, we'd be willing to trade prospects, even one of Phillips or Brinson, for a top notch starter. If we can't get that done, then I'd consider a Lance Lynn or Alex Cobb type if we can sign them to a 2-3 year deal at most.
    Agree with a lot of this except some of last graph. Who is available 'top-notch' starters? Fullmer from DET? Not sure who else. With Hader going to rotation I think this team should be looking at relief help and the relief options I'd look at are Neshek and Nicasio. Maybe then see if Marlins would move Straily. Straily-Davies-Chase-Hader-?? Then Nelson returns later in season.

    Going to be interesting what is done with the bats. Need to find a leadoff hitter. Deal Broxton for maybe a LH reliever that might be a minor leaguer right now.

  5. #5
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    I do think we need to get at least one middle of the rotation guy. Who knows when if ever Nelson is back to form. Shoulder injuries are no joke and we need to consider the fact that he may never be the same. In all honesty given our current roster we have maybe two starters I'm comfortable with starting next season.

  6. #6
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    By comfortable I mean confident in their success.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by gopackgo87 View Post
    Agree with a lot of this except some of last graph. Who is available 'top-notch' starters? Fullmer from DET? Not sure who else. With Hader going to rotation I think this team should be looking at relief help and the relief options I'd look at are Neshek and Nicasio. Maybe then see if Marlins would move Straily. Straily-Davies-Chase-Hader-?? Then Nelson returns later in season.

    Going to be interesting what is done with the bats. Need to find a leadoff hitter. Deal Broxton for maybe a LH reliever that might be a minor leaguer right now.
    If fulmer were to be made available, that's a guy I go all in on. He's the type of pitcher I offer Brinson and more for, then put Phillips in center. And it's always difficult to determine who might be made available. But I'm making calls to any mediocre or worse team with a high end starter.

    Stairly doesn't do much for me. He's an okay starter, but it sounds like miami wanted enough for him at the deadline. I'd consider signing a mid tier free agent before I'd trade for straily. Straily has had only one season of an under 4 era in the last 4 years. And that year, which his era was 3.76, it appears he had quite a bit of good luck to get there. His FIP suggested his era should have been in the mid 4s and his BABIP and strand rate both confirm that his era was probably too low for his talent.

    Miami should have probably moved him at the deadline, because he's a guy who looks okay when you are desperate for pitching in a pennant race, but come the offseason when more options tend to be available, he doesn't look near as good.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by twellner9 View Post
    I do think we need to get at least one middle of the rotation guy. Who knows when if ever Nelson is back to form. Shoulder injuries are no joke and we need to consider the fact that he may never be the same. In all honesty given our current roster we have maybe two starters I'm comfortable with starting next season.
    I would tend to agree with that. Nelson's injury is scary. I'm not counting him out, but it's difficult to count on him being the same guy he was this year. Good news is he should hopefully be back by at least mid season, so barring another injury, we should be able to see 15-20 starts of nelson and have a good idea of how he's recovered before next offseason.

    But Anderson and Davies are probably the only guys who have a spot locked up for next year. I can't see us acquiring 3 starters, but if we did, I wouldn't be super upset to not see woodruff and hader in the rotation. I think allowing hader to start is correct decision, but if he ends up being a reliever long term, I don't hate it since he showed how valuable he can be long term.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by crewfan13 View Post
    I would tend to agree with that. Nelson's injury is scary. I'm not counting him out, but it's difficult to count on him being the same guy he was this year. Good news is he should hopefully be back by at least mid season, so barring another injury, we should be able to see 15-20 starts of nelson and have a good idea of how he's recovered before next offseason.

    But Anderson and Davies are probably the only guys who have a spot locked up for next year. I can't see us acquiring 3 starters, but if we did, I wouldn't be super upset to not see woodruff and hader in the rotation. I think allowing hader to start is correct decision, but if he ends up being a reliever long term, I don't hate it since he showed how valuable he can be long term.
    I remember listening to Dr. James Andrews talk shoulders and he was saying how a shoulder injury is the career ender for anyone who throws a lot (pitchers and quarterbacks). Not to say that everyone that hurts their shoulder is done, but compared to other injuries (including TJ) the shoulder is the most likely to end a career by far. Recovery time is also very difficult to predict because of the variability of individual shoulders. Different sport but Andrew Luck comes to mind. He had a very minor Labrum procedure and look how long he's been out. And who knows how he'll handle throwing once he's back.

    I expect the Brewers to go after one pitcher leaving the 4-5 spots to Woodruff/Hader. I'm not entirely comfortable with that because it leaves us almost zero depth. And I don't anticipate the Brewers not adding anyone. Can't have 3 young guys filling out your rotation and I don't think a Corbin Burnes is ready to make that leap yet.

    The smart move is to go after 2 starters. One top of the rotation guy and one back end guy. We have the money and the pieces to make it happen. I'd also go after relief pitching wherever I can find it. While I really like what Schwarzak could do this season, I would hesitate to sign him to a long term contract given that he's only really had one decent season his entire career.

  10. #10
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    Woodruff kind of scares me. Even when he threw "well" it seemed like he was constantly flirting with danger. He seemed to get out of a lot of jams, but that's not a sustainable way for a pitcher to live. Eventually that's going to catch up to you.

    And I agree on burnes. It would be very risky to count him in the rotation next year. Ideally he's like your 7th or 8th option. He had a fantastic year, but he sort of came out of nowhere and it was only one year. Have to see if he's really that good before we can count on him.

    If someone is going to give swarzak a crazy deal, then let him walk. He's going to want to cash out on his best year. But I don't think anyone is going to be too ridiculous. I look at the Pedro strop framework. He had sort of an up and down career then parlayed a great year with the cubs into a 2/$11.5 mill deal. I think we could swing something like that, possibly even less for swarzak. I'm not giving him a 4 yr Brett Cecil type deal. If he is okay with like a 2 yr deal with a mutual option 3rd year for between $4-7 per year, it's not going to kill us, especially since he'd be off the books before our main arb guys start getting big increases.

  11. #11
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    It'll also be interesting to see if we try to buy out arb years for any of our young guys. We did it with lucroy. We tried to do it with villar last year (fortunately he said no). I'm assuming we'd try to do it again to get some cost certainty. I'd think we'd be more active in FA this year, but I don't see us taking on a mega contract. So there should be room in the budget to extend a guy like arcia so that we shift some of the arb money up front instead of it being an uncertainty later.

    I know a lot of players like to bet on themselves, so they don't like these types of deals, but I think you're sort of dumb not to take it, unless you're mike trout or kris Bryant or one of those types. Take the money up front. Guarantee yourself a huge sum of money that's more than enough to live on if you get hurt or end up sucking. And if you turn out to be a stud, you're second contract is still going to be a monster deal, so the money you "left in the table" by not going year to year in arb is somewhat mitigated by your monster deal.

  12. #12
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    I'd think a good target price for Swarzak would be $5M per looking at 2/3 years just like you said. But I don't count on him being our 8th inning man going forward. I'd still look to target a back end reliever to take over in the 8th and slide Swarzak down to the 7th inning.

    I could see us looking to extend Santana and/or Shaw though I'm not yet sold on either one of them. I know we pulled off that extension with Braun, but neither of these guys is that. Plus there's a good chance those players are all coming off what might be their peak output. Odds are they come back down a little next year and become more affordable. Same with Chase.

    The issue is that there is not a lot of top level talent available in the free agent market (nor anything we can really afford) so I think we're going to have to make some deals to improve pitching. I think its likely we don't make a huge splash this off-season. My expectation is that Stearns is going to be unwilling to sell off 3-4 top prospects to acquire one starting pitcher. I'd more expect us to target buy low type players in the hopes of catching fire. I'll do a little research looking for names but I'm expecting to get a few players that aren't on anyones radar.

    I would also like to bring back Walker (I let Sogard walk) but I doubt we are going to be willing to pay him what the market will. Very likely Villar is our starting second basemen heading into next year. Hopefully he bounces back if that's the case.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by twellner9 View Post
    I'd think a good target price for Swarzak would be $5M per looking at 2/3 years just like you said. But I don't count on him being our 8th inning man going forward. I'd still look to target a back end reliever to take over in the 8th and slide Swarzak down to the 7th inning.

    I could see us looking to extend Santana and/or Shaw though I'm not yet sold on either one of them. I know we pulled off that extension with Braun, but neither of these guys is that. Plus there's a good chance those players are all coming off what might be their peak output. Odds are they come back down a little next year and become more affordable. Same with Chase.

    The issue is that there is not a lot of top level talent available in the free agent market (nor anything we can really afford) so I think we're going to have to make some deals to improve pitching. I think its likely we don't make a huge splash this off-season. My expectation is that Stearns is going to be unwilling to sell off 3-4 top prospects to acquire one starting pitcher. I'd more expect us to target buy low type players in the hopes of catching fire. I'll do a little research looking for names but I'm expecting to get a few players that aren't on anyones radar.

    I would also like to bring back Walker (I let Sogard walk) but I doubt we are going to be willing to pay him what the market will. Very likely Villar is our starting second basemen heading into next year. Hopefully he bounces back if that's the case.
    Yeah I think if this team gets some early pen guys middle relief like Neshek or Nicasio the team could be tough again next year. Need to balance the lineup out better.

    My offseason assuming most guys come back..I think first base remains the same; 2b is Villar/Hernan platoon, SS - Arcia 3b - Shaw; OF - Braun/Santana corner OFs, Brinson/Phillips in CF. SP - Chase, Davies, Hader, Woodruff, FA.

    I go out and try to get Neshek, Nicasio, maybe LHP Duensing too. I try to also sign Chacin SP from SD. Also at 2B maybe a Jed Lowrie type. Guy can play multiple positions on the INF. Something like that would be a good offseason IMO. I would also be willing to trade for a top flight SP depending who it is. I let all of our FAs walk if the deal is too lucrative, but agree with others I would have no problem looking into bringing Walker or Swarzak back.

  14. #14
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    If chacin is your 5th starter and the rest of the moves are what you label above, I'm going to be disappointed, no matter who the RPs are. If we go into next year with villar and Perez at second, we could take a huge step back.

    I feel like brewers fans greatly overrate Perez's offense. He's a low obp guy. He doesn't hit for enough average or pop to overcome it. Perez is valuable as a super sub who can play premium defensive positions. He loses that value if you just plop him at 2nd every day, which is semi likely since villar very well might have been a one year wonder.

    We need to upgrade our offense somehow. Basically every position outside of 2nd, and maybe catcher or first are spoken for. And I doubt we do much at catcher or first. So 2nd is the only spot available for upgrade. A full season of walker is probably an upgrade. I'd consider a trade for Dee Gordon, assuming the trade is mostly is eating his salary and not us giving up good prospects. If Baltimore goes into rebuild, I'd consider a big time offer for schoop. Like you said, I'd consider a lowrie at 2nd as well. But we need to do something at 2nd. Villar and Perez is not a good answer.

  15. #15
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    Well I do think we need to consider what management thinks the real Villar is. I've never been a fan of him because he makes so many bonehead plays. But considering that just last off season we were willing to give him a decent payday I think its likely the front office is still high on him.

    In terms of improving the offense. I was looking over position ranks by WAR. Now by far our worst position was CF. If we can upgrade at all in CF with Brinson or Phillips that will help. 2B was our second weakest position so it makes sense to look for an upgrade there, but we weren't really any worse at 2B than we were at 1B. At 2B we ranked 20th in the MLB with a WAR of -0.4. At 1B we ranked 18th in the MLB with a WAR of 0.0. I still contend that the biggest upgrade can be made at first base which is typically a premium offensive position.

    The other major offensive upgrade I see is in left field. Braun should be better next season. I have to believe that nagging injuries played a role in his lack of production. Overall our LF ranked 16th in baseball. That's not good enough. But given his career I expect a decent bounceback from Braun.

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