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Milwaukee Brewers 2015-16 Offseason in Review

Rounding up Slingin' Stearns' busy winter in Milwaukee.

A dejected Jonathan Lucroy waves goodbye to all the veteran players the Brewers have traded. -KWL
A dejected Jonathan Lucroy waves goodbye to all the veteran players the Brewers have traded. -KWL
Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Pitchers and catchers officially reported to Maryvale Baseball Park on Friday for the Milwaukee Brewers. The first official workouts of 2016 took place yesterday, marking the end of the 2015-16 offseason. It was definitely a winter to remember as it was Brewers' General Manager David Stearns' first at the helm. Tasked with rebuilding the franchise into a consistent contender, Stearns hit the ground running and was perhaps the most active GM in baseball. He was dubbed "Slingin' Stearns" after completing three trades in three days early on in his tenure and he certainly lived up to that nickname throughout the offseason.

Outgoing Free Agents

C Nevin Ashley - signed MiLB deal with Mets
OF Logan Schafer - signed MiLB deal with Nationals
C Juan Centeno - signed MiLB deal with Twins
RHP Johnny Hellweg - signed MiLB deal with Padres
1B Matt Clark - currently free agent
RHP Kyle Lohse - currently free agent
INF Elian Herrera - signed MiLB deal with Dodgers

Waiver Wire Activity

10/4/15 - Brewers claim RHP Junior Guerra off waivers from White Sox
12/7/15 - Dodgers claim OF Daniel Fields off waivers from Brewers
12/7/15 - Marlins claim LHP Mike Strong off waivers from Brewers
12/23/15 - Brewers claim C Josmil Pinto off waivers from Padres
12/23/15 - Brewers claim 1B Andy Wilkins off waivers from Rangers
12/23/15 - Brewers claim OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis off waivers from Mets
1/13/16 - Brewers outright C Josmil Pinto to AAA
2/4/16 - Brewers outright OF Shane Peterson to AAA

Signed to Minor League Deal

11/10/15 - Signed SS Edwin Sano
11/11/15 - Signed RHP Harold Chirino
11/16/15 - Signed INF Hernan Perez with invite to Spring Training
11/16/15 - Signed RHP Henry Medina
11/18/15 - Signed RHP Jim Miller
11/19/15 - Signed C Rene Garcia with invite to Spring Training
12/04/15 - Signed RHP Daniel Tillman with invite to Spring Training
12/11/15 - Signed OF Alex Presley with invite to Spring Training
12/11/15 - Signed INF Jake Elmore with invite to Spring Training
12/15/15 - Signed INF Will Middlebrooks with invite to Spring Training
12/15/15 - Signed RHP Hiram Burgos with invite to Spring Training
12/17/15 - Signed RHP Tim Dillard
1/5/16 - Signed OF Eric Young Jr. with invite to Spring Training
1/12/16 - Signed OF Yorki Franco
1/22/16 - Signed LHP Cesar Jimenez with invite to Spring Training
1/25/16 - Signed LHP Chris Capuano with invite to Spring Training
1/26/16 - Signed 3B Fidel Pena
1/26/16 - Signed C Luis Avalo
1/26/16 - Signed RHP Miguel Sanchez
2/8/16 - Signed RHP Johan Dominguez
2/8/16 - Signed RHP Daniel Acosta
2/12/16 - Signed RHP Blaine Boyer with invite to Spring Training

Rule 5 Draft

12/10/15 - Brewers draft INF Colin Walsh from Oakland
12/10/15 - Brewers draft RHP Zack Jones from Minnesota

Signed to Major League Deal

1/6/16 - Signed 1B Chris Carter


11/18/15 - Traded RHP Francisco Rodriguez to Detroit for 2B Javier Betancourt and a PTBNL, 12/10 Tigers send C Manny Pina to complete deal
11/19/15 - Traded RHP Cy Sneed to Houston for SS Jonathan Villar
11/20/15 - Traded SS Luis Sardinas to Seattle for OF Ramon Flores
12/9/15 - Traded 1B Adam Lind to Seattle for RHP Carlos Herrera, RHP Daniel Missaki, and RHP Freddy Peralta
12/10/15 - Traded cash considerations to Boston for INF Garin Cecchini
12/17/15 - Traded 1B Jason Rogers to Pittsburgh for OF Keon Broxton and RHP Trey Supak
1/28/16 - Traded LHP Trevor Seidenberger to San Diego for OF Rymer Liriano
1/30/16 - Traded SS Jean Segura and RHP Tyler Wagner to Arizona for RHP Chase Anderson, INF Aaron Hill, SS Isan Diaz, and cash.
2/12/16 - Traded LF Khris Davis to Oakland for C Jacob Nottingham and RHP Bubba Derby


Overall, the Brewers completed 38 transactions over the last five months or so that brought 45 players into the organization. If you weren't careful you might've gotten whiplash trying to keep up with all the moves, and we the BCB staff have already filed insurance claims to have the carpel tunnel treated that we all developed on the job this winter.

Broken down the Brewers added 20 pitchers and 25 position players this winter. Slingin' Stearns was especially active on the trade market, completing nine deals to add 16 new players. At least seven of those guys should have some impact at the major league level this season, for those who think that the Brewers don't care about their big league club at this point.

December was the Brewers' most active month overall, which should come as no surprise because the annual Winter Meetings were held during that time. The Brewers made 14 transactions that month: three trades, two Rule 5 picks, six minor league signings, and three waiver claims. October was the quietest month with only the claim of Junior Guerra, but that's no shock either as the playoffs and World Series were still wrapping up.

Stearns' first offseason has been almost universally praised by those in the know around baseball, and it's hard not to like what he's done so far. He's specifically targeted players who take plenty of walks at the plate and pitchers who have shown they can limit walks on the mound. There has been 'young, controllable talent' added at every level of the organization: stuffing the lower levels with pitching, adding some advanced position player prospects like Betancourt and Nottingham, and rolling the dice on some post-hype guys like Garin Cecchini and Rymer Liriano who could very well play themselves into important roles this season at the major league level.

Slingin' Stearns didn't rush to make any deals this winter and so far he has gotten good, if not great, returns for all the players that he's dealt. The farm system is now ranked among at least the top 10 of the game depending on which outlet you consult, and it should only further improve with valuable trade chips like Jonathan Lucroy and Will Smith still in the fold. The Brewers have a clear plan moving forward and the rebuild is off to a great start. It's difficult not to get excited about what the future could hold for this team.