The Brewers have been constantly mentioned as a team that could do big things during this week's Winter Meetings, but to this point, that hasn't translated into actually doing big things -- or much of anything, at least publicly.
According to multiple reports, it's not for a lack of trying. The team has multiple balls in the air during this first part of the week when it comes to free agents, and are now left waiting to hear back.
Brewers have multiple offers out to free agents and are waiting to hear back, David Stearns said. Pitching remains his priority.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) December 12, 2017
#Brewers GM David Stearns said he has offers out to free agents - I'm assuming pitchers - and is waiting for answers. Prepared to do more than one thing— Tom (@Haudricourt) December 12, 2017
Stearns made those comments on Tuesday night, and expanded on them a bit with Tom Haudricourt this morning.
Just asked #Brewers GM David Stearns if he might do something today at winter meetings and got a firm "maybe." Still hoping to do something here but can't tell if will happen.— Tom (@Haudricourt) December 13, 2017
Stearns: "We're deep into discussions on a couple of fronts. We've had some discussions progress but I can't handicap. I don't want to handicap."— Tom (@Haudricourt) December 13, 2017
As to where things stand in general right now, Stearns said, "It's a constant flow, back and forth. We know where we stand. It's just a question of where the other side stands."— Tom (@Haudricourt) December 13, 2017
That last comment goes back to what Kyle said yesterday about the surprisingly sparse early trade market for Domingo Santana -- Stearns has shown in the past that he's willing to stick to his guns in trade negotiations, and won't pull the trigger unless he feels he's getting a good deal. That self-assurance has served him well as GM to this point, whether it was the trade of Jonathan Lucroy or breaking off trade talks for Sonny Gray when Oakland insisted on getting Lewis Brinson. Gray ended up with a 3.72 ERA/4.87 FIP with an 8.1 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 in his first 11 starts with the Yankees -- good, but probably not worth the Brewers' best prospect.
Meanwhile, Ken Rosenthal says he expects the Brewers to stay active when it comes to shopping for a second baseman. During a Tuesday appearance on MLB Tonight, Rosenthal again linked the team to Ian Kinsler, while tossing in another AL Central name:
Rosenthal reiterated his earlier tweet about Chris Archer being a good fit in Milwaukee. Rosenthal also said that the #Brewers do want a 2B and have been linked to both Whit Merrifield (Royals) and Ian Kinsler (Tigers).— The Brewer Nation (@BrewerNation) December 13, 2017
Whit Merrifield has just over one year of major league service time, and is coming off a year in which he hit .288/.324/.460 with 19 home runs and 78 RBI in 145 games. The 28-year-old also stole 34 bases in 2017, and ranked third on the Royals in WAR behind Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer.
Kinsler was linked to the Brewers at the summer trade deadline before the team ultimately traded for Neil Walker. Kinsler is coming off one of the worst seasons of his career, hitting just .236/.313/.412 in 139 games this past year, but he still carries some offensive pop, hitting 22 home runs at age 35. The Tigers picked up his $11 million option for 2018, but reportedly only did so because they wanted to trade him this winter. Kinsler has a 10-team no-trade list, on which the Brewers still apparently appear.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference