David Stearns hasn't made what might be considered a big move just yet. But he's made a flurry of smaller move. One such move was the waiver claim of first baseman Andy Wilkins. He was added to the Brewers organization the same day as catcher Josmil Pinto and center fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis so he flew under a lot of radars. But with minor league options remaining, he's probably the most likely to stick on the 40-man roster past spring training.
Josmil Pinto has already been DFA'd--though retained. I happen to believe Kirk Nieuwenhuis will be on the Brewers 25-man roster. But with so many other outfielders added to an already full outfield--including recent acquisition Rymer Liriano--it's possible that the Brewers will eventually decide to try and pass Nieuwenhuis through waivers like they did with Pinto.
Adding to the likelihood that Wilkins sticks around is the lack of minor league depth at the position. As you all know the Brewers did go an sign Chris Carter. But there isn't a pure first base back-up on the 40-man roster besides Wilkins. Adam Lind and Jason Rogers were traded. BCB community favorite Matt Clark departed via minor league free agency. Beyond the 40-man roster, it's possible Nick Ramirez or Will MIddlebrooks get starts at first base in AAA. But neither has had a performance in recent years to suggest they demand to be placed in front of Wilkins on the depth chart.
Another advantage Wilkins has is his left handed bat. It's possible he could serve in a nice back-up role to Chris Carter who hits right-handed. My guess though, is that Wilkins will start in AAA. As I mentioned, he has minor league options remaining. This would be his third season at the AAA level, but I'm not sure it would help him any to sit on the major league bench. The Brewers will likely want Chris Carter getting the majority of playing time as they'll want to see if they can trade him at some point.
Should that happen, I imagine their performance in AAA will dictate which player then takes over at 1B for the Brewers between Middlebrooks and Wilkins. At 27 years old, Wilkins is not young for a player in his situation. But I still think the Brewers might want to take a look at him first. He had a down year in 2015, but he's only a season removed from crushing 30 home runs in the White Sox minor league organization.
Playing in Colorado Springs could inflate his numbers some, so I'd caution everyone against getting to excited should he show off some video game numbers early on. But I suspect Wilkins will take the place of Matt Clark, Sean Halton, and Hunter Morris before him, as BCB's favorite underdog.
Stats courtesy of FanGraphs