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Brew Crew Ball 2017-18 Offseason Plan Project

You decide how Milwaukee takes their next step!

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Last year, we borrowed the idea for the “Offseason Plan Project” from our friends over at South Side Sox. We got a great response from you all, so we are going to reprise the project once again this winter. After all, you all are intelligent, dedicated fans with a good working knowledge of the organization.

So once again, here is your mission, should you choose to accept it:

*Copy and paste the template into a FanPost. If you’ve never written a FanPost, you’ll have the option if you’re a registered member of Brew Crew Ball. Once logged in, CTRL-F "Write a FanPost" or "Post your own" and you should be in the editor and ready to write.

*Cot’s Baseball Contracts has the Brewers’ payroll obligations. The upper limit of the Brewers’ payroll has historically been around $100 mil, but given the nature of how contracts have gone and the Brewers spendthrift ways the past few years, I’m setting the payroll limit at $110 mil. As things stand right now, the Brewers are projected for a little over $61 mil in payroll for 2018. That gives you plenty of room to sign/trade for whoever you see fit.

*MLB Trade Rumors has a list of the 2017-18 MLB free agents. The deadline for contract options to be exercised has already passed, so everyone on the list is legitimately a free agent.

Start here, be creative, and have fun!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ✂️ [cut along the perforated line] ✂️ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

[Insert your name]’s Offseason Plan

Arbitration-eligible (with projected salaries from MLBTR):

Write "tender" or "non-tender" after each of the following names. You can also trade a player before or after tendering a contract.

  • Jared Hughes - $2.2 mil
  • Jeremy Jeffress - $2.6 mil
  • Stephen Vogt - $3.9 mil
  • Jonathan Villar - $3.0 mil
  • Jimmy Nelson - $4.7 mil
  • Hernan Perez - $2.2 mil
  • Corey Knebel - $4.1 mil

Explain the toughest calls if necessary:

Contract options (pick up or buy out)

  • none

Impending free agents (re-sign, let go or qualifying offer)

  • Neil Walker: made $17.2 mil in 2017 (ineligible for QO)
  • Anthony Swarzak: made $900K in 2017 (ineligible for QO)
  • Matt Garza: made $12.5 mil in 2017

Elaborate if needed:

Free agents

Peruse the list of potential free agents and name one, two, or more that you would pursue, the maximum offer that you would extend to them, and a brief explanation. An example:

#1: Alex Cobb (4 year, $56 mil). The Brewers need some help in the starting rotation, and Cobb has been quite the useful arm over his career. Hopefully another year past Tommy John will do him some good.

Trades

Propose a trade or two or several that you think sound reasonable for both sides, and the rationale behind them. Example:

#1: Trade Lewis Brinson, Luis Ortiz, Lucas Erceg, and Josh Pennington to Tampa Bay for Chris Archer. The Brewers have tons of prospect depth, and adding Archer gives them a legitimate top-of-the-rotation arm who is under control for the next several years.

Try and stay objective when proposing these trades, don’t be too outrageous and try and keep the value similar on both sides. I’m hoping to see some realistic ideas.

Summary

If you end up with a complete, rock solid 25-man roster, feel free to list it with as much detail as you can. The more in-depth, the better. The competitive window was thrown open with last season’s 86-win campaign, but there are still holes to be addressed. Second base could use some help, the backup catching situation could be improved upon, and there’s always room for more pitching depth. Remember that you are under a payroll constraint, however.

For some, part of the game might be trying to guess as much of the 2018 roster as possible. Really though, you don't need to be a comprehensive roster architect to participate. You might have one idea that gets people talking, and that's just as worth it. You can also borrow ideas if you like them to fill out your plan, because I’m also interested in which players are the most popular for potential solutions.

The point of this project is to survey the community and consider as many realistic players and angles as possible before the Brewers start making the moves that count.

Have fun and I’m looking forward to seeing what y’all can come up with!