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BCB Mailbag 54: Looking ahead to the offseason

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Answering the burning questions from you, the reader.

Washington Nationals v Colorado Rockies Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Happy weekend, friends! I hope everyone’s stomachs have settled after the large quantities of food consumed on Thursday, and that you’re ready to dive into this week’s questions:

Rick Auerbach invites you to 1972 asks:

Which new-to-the-40 outfielder do you think will have a longer major league career - Tyrone Taylor or Troy Stokes, Jr. ?

I have long been a big fan of Stokes, but in the grand scheme of things, the most probable outcome for both guys is a bench piece. In that case I think Taylor’s superior defensive abilities will - especially as more of a true center fielder - will help keep him hanging around the big leagues longer. And if Taylor’s newfound power paired with always present bat-to-ball skills is more than just a byproduct of playing at Colorado Springs, then look out.

SANDYTOLAN asks:

Do you see any chance the Crew signs Eovaldi?

And if it were up to you, would you? And…What would that do to the payroll?

I think there’s a chance, sure. They are already believed to have interest in him, though so is about a third of the league, I guess. I think Eovaldi would be a perfect fit for what the Crew has been doing in their rotation - a high-upside arm who isn’t an innings-eater, but is someone who can go out and give you his best 4-6 innings every few days before turning things over the to the bullpen. Given his relative youth (he turns 29 next spring), the lack of a Qualifying Offer, and the already widespread interest, I would guess that whoever signs him will have to open up the pocketbooks a bit. MLB Trade Rumors predicts 4/$60 mil, which I wouldn’t feel terrible about; that’s only slightly more than Alex Cobb from Baltimore got last year, and I think we can all agree that Eovaldi has a lot higher upside than Cobb. I’m guessing the team will look to move around some payroll this winter regardless who they ultimately end up signing, if for nothing else than increased flexibility to make moves during the season. Thames, Anderson, and Schoop are fairly obvious candidates to be moved on from.

icelandreliant asks:

Is it normal to have so few signings and acquisitions so far?

I mean, there have gotta be more minor league signings, right?

I don’t think there is anything too out of the ordinary yet. At this time last year, the only deals the club had completed were a handful of re-signings - a big league deal for Eric Sogard, and minor league contacts for Jorge Ortega and Tim Dillard. I would imagine the pace of the offseason will pick up as we approach the non-tender deadline and a whole new wave of free agents come available, and then the Winter Meetings shortly after that.

Pack87Man asks:

Will the Brewers sign any MLB free agent contracts?

I can see them doing a few NRIs, but I would not be shocked if they didn’t sign anyone with a big league deal.

I would honestly be shocked to see them go the entire winter without signing anyone to an MLB free agent contract. They may not make any splashy deals like they did with Lorenzo Cain last winter, but even if it is only a few modest additions, I think there are enough players available and spots in need of upgrade that we’ll see at least a few deals go down.

ThadBosley asks:

How high will the Brewers payroll be to start the season?

If they keep Schoop and all their other main players, it will be around 115 million. How much higher will Mark A. let the payroll rise?

This is kind of hard to predict, as if Opening Day was today, their projected payroll would already set a new record for highest in franchise history. That’s why I think we’ll hear about them shopping guys like Thames and Anderson, and potentially non-tender Schoop. I guess I am hoping that they are willing to get up to the $125 mil range for Opening Day payroll next year, which would give them about $30 mil or so to play with this offseason if they are able to get rid of the money tied up in those three players.

minheo51 asks:

MLB.com just posted 5 trades they’d like to see

One was for the Rockies to trade Jon Gray to the Brewers for Domingo Santana and our no.6 prospect Joe Gray. What do you think if we made this trade?

I would be totally in favor of that deal, as proposed. Gray has filthy stuff, but hasn’t been able to really thrive while pitching in Denver’s harsh environment. He misses bats, doesn’t give up many walks, and keeps the hard contact at reasonable levels. A move to Milwaukee’s system - which emphasizes high fastball usage - would probably benefit Gray and his 95+ MPH fastball, too. He hasn’t really thrown it “up” with regularity while pitching for the Rockies, and perhaps unsurprisingly, has allowed a .322 batting average against the pitch for his career, with Pitch Info valuing the offering at -34.9 runs across parts of four big league seasons.

Teaming up with Milwaukee’s scouts and analysts as well as new pitching coach Chris Hook could help Jon Gray unlock the upside he is believed to have on the mound, while getting Domingo Santana to the thin air of Coors Field could help him rediscover his missing power stroke. Joe Gray is an interesting flyer as a prospect, but right now he’s a raw player with contact issues in rookie ball.

So, what’s the hold up, Stearns?!


I know we haven’t done this dance in awhile, but your questions were great, as always. Can’t wait for the hot stove action to really start kicking into gear!

Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs