Heading into 2015, the Brewers are looking at Hector Gomez and Luis Jimenez as their likely backup infielders. Both players are out of options and the former could handle middle infield duties while the latter would take the corners. Both have fairly large question marks, and neither is assured of being a quality player.
After 2015, the Brewers will also need to figure out their third base future as Aramis Ramirez is almost sure to retire.
The Brewers appear to have been tentatively looking into some trades that could help shore up their infield depth with Milwaukee among those who have shown an interest in Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Alex Guerrero, reports Mark Saxon of ESPN.
Guerrero has shone brightly in spring training, picking up 11 hits and scoring eight runs over 33 plate appearances. He's also hit a pair of home runs. In the minors last year, Guerrero hit .333/.373/.621 well spending most of his time in Triple-A Albuquerque. He also had a chunk of his ear bitten off by a teammate, weirdly, which cost him a couple months of playing time.
However, in a brief call-up to the majors he had just one hit in 13 at-bats. He also had a questionable glove in the middle-infield. His range hasn't been fantastic for shortstop or second base and he doesn't have the strong arm that would allow for a natural transition to third base.
This spring, however, he has shown an improvement defensively, including at third base. It's still a question mark, and there have been rumors that the Dodgers have even considered releasing the 28-year-old -- they can't send him back to the minors unless he agrees to such a move. Given how well he has hit in the minors and in Cuba (consistently putting up a .400 OBP and 20+ home run power in his final four seasons for Los Tunas from 2008-11), his defense clearly must have been bad enough to warrant any consideration of release.
The other issue is Guerrero has a four-year, $28 million deal he signed as a free agent out of Cuba, $21.5 million of which is still owed to him over the next three seasons. According to ESPN, there hasn't been a team that would be willing to take on that full commitment so if a trade were to be made, the Dodgers would have to also send some cash.
How much interest the Brewers have actually shown -- and when they expressed that interest -- is also unknown. It could have been a quick phone call asking about his availability, or it could have been something more. Milwaukee was the only team mentioned specifically in the article, so perhaps their interest was more than most. If Guerrero could hold his own defensively, his bat would have been a likely improvement over either Jimenenz or Gomez.
All that said, it looks like Guerrero's hot spring and improved defense will land him a spot on the Dodgers' opening day roster as a utility player. Like the Brewers, Los Angeles could also be facing a hole at third base come next year as Juan Uribe's career winds down. They also could lose their entire infield aside from Adrian Gonzalez in free agency. For now, the Dodgers aren't ready to give up him yet.