The Brewers had a rather busy off season, full of moves both big and small. After fielding a very competitive team for the past two seasons, it’s time to see if the Brewers can repeat this feat a third year in a row. Let’s dive into the notable moves for 2020.
Zach Davies Trade– In late November, the Milwaukee Brewers traded starting pitcher Zach Davies and outfielder Trent Grisham to the San Diego Padres for left-handed pitcher Eric Lauer and infielder Luis Urias. Lauer is expected to fix a hole in the Brewers rotation, and Urias is expected to play shortstop, after he recovers from wrist surgery.
Orlando Arcia/SS- The former prized prospect is running out of chances to make his mark. Milwaukee gave him a one-year contract and 2020 will be his final chance. His defensive production was what kept him in the starting rotation, but that has since slipped.
Keon Broxton/OF- In early December, the Brewers elected to sign Keon Broxton to a minor league deal. This includes an invitation to spring training. Will Broxton be the fourth outfielder at Miller Park this season?
Josh Lindblom/SP- On December 9th, David Stearns made a very interesting move, adding starting pitcher Josh Lindblom, a man who spent the last three seasons in the Korean League, on a three-year contract.
Avisail Garcia/OF- The Brewers added Garcia on a two-year contract. Based on who else is going to be in camp in Arizona with the club competing for an outfield spot, something tells me that David Stearns may have finally found a taker for Ryan Braun, and the details are still being worked out.
Eric Sogard/INF- In late December, Stearns brought back a former Brewer, Sogard to provide infield depth. Sogard did not produce the last time he was in a Brewers uniform, but while playing for the Blue Jays and Rays, his numbers improved. He hit 13 home runs in 2019, but what helped land him this Brewers contract was his play on defense and his ability to get the ball up in the air. He’s reduced his ground out rate considerably.
Justin Smoak/1B- On that same day, they added Smoak, who is expected to be the starting first baseman this season. Smoak has to prove himself. 2019 was not the best season for Smoak, batting just .208 for Toronto. Braun could slide into that position, should Justin flame out.
Craig Counsell– To be sure, the Brewers have hitched their wagon to Counsell, who got a big contract extension through the 2023 season. Let’s see if the gamble pays off in the long haul.
Jedd Gyroko/INF- The Brewers added Gyroko on a one-year contract in January and he is expected to be the other reserve infielder besides Sogard. Gyroko had an injury plagued 2019 season, so the contract with the Brewers includes incentives based on plate appearances. Specifically, Gyroko will fit at third against left handed pitchers. He can also produce against those same left handed opposing pitchers.
Shelby Miller/RHP- Milwaukee is going to try to rebuild this former prized prospect of the St. Louis Cardinals. This first round draft pick, way back when, wound up as an All Star in 2015. That came crashing down when he was traded to the Diamondbacks. His fastball was hitting just over 94 mph last year, and the Brew Crew picked him up with a minor league contract.