The Milwaukee Brewers shocked the baseball world in 2018, winning the NL Central over the Chicago Cubs, and then taking the Los Angeles Dodgers to seven games in the National League Championship Series. The Brewers didn’t have as active of an offseason as other teams, but they did make some moves.
Their biggest move this off season was the signing of All-Star free agent catcher Yasmani Grandal to a one year, 15 million dollar “pillow” contract. Grandal wanted to sign a three year deal at 15 million, but teams were only offering him 12 million for three years. So he settled for the Brewers offer, betting on himself essentially. The move could pay off big time for both teams. If Grandal has a big season, he could get his 15 million for 3 to 4 years next season.
Filed under the “smaller moves” category, Erik Kratz is back for one more season, and will backup Grandal behind the plate in 2019.
Another small, yet important move, the team decided to bring back super-utility man Hernan Perez for another season.
At first Brewers fans thought Corey Spangenberg would compete with Perez for the utility role, but they could end up carrying both. If they do, that would give them the ability to carry all the arms they can in that bullpen, as they would then have two guys on their bench that can play every position.
On January fifth the Brewers made the last move to break their outfield logjam by trading Keon Broxton to the Mets for right-handed pitcher Bobby Wahl, right-handed pitcher Adam Hill, and infielder Felix Valerio. Already gone were Brett Phillips and Domingo Santana, so that means the Brewers outfielders will be Braun, Yelich, and Cain.
Josh Tomlin is an intriguing move. Depending on how many arms get switched to the rotation from the bullpen, he could either occupy the fifth spot in the rotation or the long relief role out of the pen.
The Brewers last move of the off season appears to be the decision made this past weekend to bring back third basemen Mike Moustakas for 2019. This means Travis Shaw will start the year at second base. This move will allow the Brewers to keep Keston Hiura in Triple-A for the first month or two of the season.