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BCB Mailbag 35: Picking a jersey number

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Answering the burning questions from you, the reader.

Milwaukee Bucks v Philadelphia 76ers
The Greatest Buck of All-Time.
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Another week is in the books, and the first snow of the offseason fell today here in Milwaukee. So let’s warm up with some of those questions of yours:

Bolson32 asks:

Am I the only one that hates the Arrieta Idea?

A big money starter seems like a terrible idea to me and perhaps not much of a Slingin David Stearns move. I predict a middle to back starter a la Alex Cobb or Lance Lynn and to be honest, would be favorable. I think there’s guys in house that could potentially fill the 4 and 5 spots. And don’t say Hader, that dude is destined to be a high pressure reliever and will get PAID there regardless. Unrelated, I’d LOVE to see Swarzak back. Thoughts?

I’m open to the Brewers spending a bunch of money this winter, but I’m not very high on signing Arrieta. His peripheral performance wasn’t all that great last year, and if he’s only a mid-rotation starter going forward then there are several more cost-effective options on the market that would allow the team to spread around their available cash a bit more.

If I’m the Brewers, though, fortifying the pitching depth is my top priority this coming offseason. I’d be highly in favor of signing Cobb, and there’s some familiarity there with Matt Arnold’s background in Tampa Bay. Lynn doesn’t do much for me, personally. Another couple of arms free agent arms that I’ve mentioned having interest in a few times here and elsewhere include Tyler Chatwood and Miles Mikolas. On the trade market, Chris Archer is probably the biggest prize that could be had this winter. I also got a random tip a few months ago that the Brewers have interest in Seth Lugo from the New York Mets, for whatever that’s worth.

I wouldn’t mind having Swarzak back either, especially if it’s for a relatively modest commitment. If not him, the Brewers should probably ink at least one potential impact reliever over the winter to help fortify the back end of the bullpen. Steve Cishek is another interesting name that shouldn’t cost a ton of money or years.

Dreman50 asks:

The Catching Conundrum...

What do we do with Stephen Vogt? He can hit a bit, and from what I’ve heard is a great clubhouse presence. However, his defense leaves much to be desired having caught only 14% of base-stealers last year. His projected arbitration salary of $3.9M wouldn’t break the bank but with Susac, Pina, and Bandy all on pre-arb contracts should the Brewers consider non-tendering Vogt and spending that money elsewhere? I would prefer having a proven player backing up Pina, especially after watching Villar implode following his breakout, but is $3.9M too much for a defensively limited insurance policy?

Quite honestly, a Vogt non-tender wouldn’t be at all surprising to me. He did flash some power during his stint in Milwaukee, but didn’t get on base very much and graded out poorly defensively. $3.9 mil isn’t a ton of money, I just think there are better options available out there. I wouldn’t feel great trusting a Pina/Susac/Bandy group if the Brewers are aiming to compete in 2018, so I’d priortize bringing in someone like Chris Iannetta or Welington Castillo one a short-term deal to split time with Pina. Or, going and grabbing Yasmani Grandal in a trade is another avenue that could be explored.

Spaul149 asks:

Which minor leaguer(s) have the best chance to make the bullpen next year?

A few prospects on the 40 man roster who look like they have the stuff to work themselves into notable relief roles are Jorge Lopez, Taylor Williams, and Adrian Houser.

drezdn asks:

If the Brewers were to sign you

What number would you ask for?

My lucky number has always been #22, dating back to when Michael Redd got drafted by the Bucks back in 2000 and went on to become the best player in franchise history. (Tomorrow is the 11-year anniversary of his 57 point game, by the way. I was at the Bradley Center sitting in the front row court side that night, the tickets were an early birthday gift from a family friend. I turned 15 years old two days later.) Back when I had a working video game system, #22 was the one I would give myself whenever I created a player in MVP Baseball (RIP), MLB the Show, NBA Live, Madden, or NCAA Football (RIP). Now that Garza is gone, the number has become available just in time for me to sign!

69 would be a nice one, as well.

SANDYTOLAN asks:

Imagine the best, most awesome, rockin but realistic

Blockbuster Trade that the Brewers could make this off-season.

It sounds as though the only top-flight arm that could be available this winter may end up being Chris Archer of the Rays. A true workhorse and frontline starter, the 29 year old right is under control for another four years at a total cost of less than $34 mil. It’ll take a haul to get him, but I could live with Milwaukee shipping out Lewis Brinson, Corbin Burnes, Corey Ray, and Carlos Herrera in order to bring him to Milwaukee. Maybe toss one of Hernan Perez or Jonathan Villar in there as a throw-in, too, to clear up a roster redundancy.


Thanks for all the questions this time around, folks! Here’s hoping that we’ll have some concrete rumors to start speculating about soon.