The Brewers are probably a few years (at least) away from being major players in free agency, and one gets the feeling that they might never really go after the big money guys as long as David Stearns is the GM. But who signs whom might make some other whom available, and sets the prices, so we will look at the top available players by position groups this week.
Wednesday we will look at catchers and infielders; Thursday at outfielders; Friday at relief pitchers; and Saturday at starters.
But today, using the list of 2016-17 MLB Free Agents from MLB Trade Rumors, we take a whimsical look at trying to build a team by signing those free agents that once played for the Brewers. The name of the team would probably be something along the lines of Motley Crue. Nikki Sixx will manage the squad.
CATCHERS: Oddly enough, we won’t be able to sign a former Brewer catcher as a FA. There will be one available next off season, though. Of course, they could now re-sign Josmil Pinto, and/or non-tender Martin Maldonado and then re-sign him...so this position is a stretch. Pinto will be a minor league FA if he so chooses.
FIRST BASE: A fine group here, with Mark Reynolds and Adam Lind available. A platoon! And Mark can fill in at third!
SECOND BASE: I’m gonna cheat here. We are signing Jemile Weeks as a legacy signing.
SHORTSTOP: Since there aren’t any ex-Brewers available here...heck, there are only two shortstops available at all...we are going to do something drastic: we are purchasing the contract of Yuni Betancourt from Aguilas de Mexicali. I am giving them $50,000, which is a big deal for them...that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
THIRD BASE: More awesomeness. Casey McGehee and Aaron Hill are joining the squad! We didn’t tell Hill that he’d be backing up at short, too, but we all know that Yuni is an iron man - he won’t be coming out. We know how hard it has always been to get Yuni out of the Brewers’ line-up.
OUTFIELD: We’re a little light here. We have Carlos Gomez, Alex Presley, Logan Schafer, and Rickie Weeks. Rickie will also back up Jemile at second. Just imagine an infield with Yuni and Rickie manning the middle! I can’t decide if I want Presley in left and Schafer in right, or vice versa.
PITCHERS: Another position where we will have to get creative. We will have Chris Capuano, Carlos Villanueva, Blaine Boyer, Jorge de la Rosa, and R.A. Dickey. Technically, Dickey never pitched for the Brewers but he was the PCL Pitcher of the Year in 2007 while pitching for Nashville in the Brewers’ organization. There are a few pitchers recently retired that could be coaxed back (Kyle Lohse, anyone?) and some minor league arms scattered about that we could rake in.
We might be able to fill out some of the roster once we know all of the non-tendered players. But don’t hold your breath - what is more valuable than a former Brewer? Maybe there will be some released minor leaguers or independent league guys. I seem to recall somebody mentioning a few ex-Brewers playing for an independent league team. Perhaps icelandreliant? If so, you are in charge of recruiting them.
I wanted to list these players because, by and large, they aren’t going to be in the best players available list, and we always want to follow our ex-heroes. Here’s hoping they all find gainful employment playing baseball in 2017 - just maybe not on a major league team in Wisconsin.