The Brewers have officially announced they will not be picking up the options of any of the players that had them for next season.
Declining their half of the $15 million mutual option with Ryan Braun was already announced earlier in the day, and their turning down the options for Jedd Gyorko and Ben Gamel was previously reported by other outlets.
The team confirmed those decisions, along with the fact they were turning down Eric Sogard’s team option, in a tweet this afternoon.
The club options on OF Ben Gamel, INF Jedd Gyorko and INF Eric Sogard have been declined. INF Ryon Healy has been outrighted to Triple-A San Antonio. pic.twitter.com/gyWnujppMF— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) October 30, 2020
As Brad noted this afternoon, Gyorko is the surprise, considering he was one of the few productive bats in the Brewers’ lineup in 2020. Sogard, meanwhile, was a pretty obvious decision, as evidenced by our poll the other day.
When you factor in buyouts, the Brewers cut a total of $18.5 million in salary today — $11 million from the Braun decision, $4 million from Sogard, and $3.5 million from Gyorko. The Gamel decision could also cut an additional $500,000 (if they offer him arbitration) to $2.55 million (if they just non-tender him) from the payroll.
If the way the rest of the league is acting is any indication, it seems unlikely much of that money will be reinvested in the payroll — at least for now. Braun, Gyorko and Sogard will join a free agent market that figures to be flooded with players subjected to similar decisions across the league — including very recent All-Stars like Brad Hand.
Speaking to reporters shortly after the decisions were announced, GM David Stearns said these moves were about “flexibility” right now, while it’s uncertain how the next several months will turn out.
Stearns: "There is a recognition that flexibility is important right now. We don't know what upcoming months will look like."— Tom (@Haudricourt) October 30, 2020
At the very least, it appears the Offseason of Austerity has officially begun.