This close to the season teams are more or less complete. It's a time for reflection and a time for fans to ask themselves, "Did my team do enough to prepare for the season?" However the Brewers are in a different position. They're not planning for 2016 in the same way most teams are. While many teams are attempting to build a World Series contender, the Brewers are all about accumulating as much talent as they can. They know their window to compete is years down the road. Their success cannot be judged by the same metrics used for competitive teams. It's really hard to answer that question.
The Brewers 2016 record is not related to the success of their offseason. Instead it's the free agent signings, waiver claims, and trades they've made that will define success. But in some instances those are answer we won't get for years as we wait for the minor league acquisitions to develop. Even more frustrating is the fact that their success is just as tied to the trades they didn't make. The problem is we're not privy to that information so we can't judge those non-moves. Really all we can do at this point is look back on the moves they did make and cross our fingers.
Here's a list of all the significant (by my estimation) moves the Brewers have made since last season ended:
RHP Junior Guerra wavier claim
RHP Francisco Rodriguez sent to DET for 2B Javier Betancourt and C Manny Pina
RHP Cy Sneed sent to HOU for SS Jonathan Villar
SS Luis Sardinas sent to SEA for OF Ramon Flores
1B Adam Lind sent to SEA for RHP Daniel Missaki, RHP Carlos Herrera, RHP Freddie Peralta
Cash considerations sent to BOS for 3B Garin Cecchini
Rule 5 selection of 2B Colin Walsh
Rule 5 selection of RHP Zach Jones
1B Jason Rogers sent to PIT for OF Keon Broxton and RHP Trey Supak
OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis waiver claim
C Josmil Pinto waiver claim
1B Andy Wilkins waiver claim
Free agent 1B Chris Carter signed
LHP Trevor Seidenberger sent to SDP for Rymer Liriano
SS Jean Segura and RHP Ty Wagner sent to ARZ for SS Isan Diaz, RHP Chase Anderson, and 2B/3B Aaron Hill
OF Khris Davis sent to OAK for C Jacob Nottingham and RHP Bubba Derby
LHP Sean Nolin waiver claim
That is a lot of moves and I didn't even include the minor league signings of Chris Capuano, Franklin Morales, and Blaine Boyer who could each make the opening day bullpen. I count 24 additions that pique my interest. They only traded 9 players. That's how you run a rebuild my friends.
We can fret over the possibility the Brewers held onto Will Smith and Jonathan Lucroy for too long. But we don't know what kind of offers the Brewers were fielding and there's no reason to sell low on those two guys. We simply don't have the requisite information to make a judgement on those decisions. Looking back at the moves David Stearns has made I can feel nothing but awe--I still don't know how he pulled off the Rogers trade--and enthusiasm--Isan Diaz and Jacob Nottingham look legit! He's cast a very wide net and chances are good that at least a few of the 24 players acquired will work out. And for me that's enough to call this a successful offseason.