For the fifth year in a row, Brew Crew Ball is borrowing the idea for the “Offseason Plan Project” from our friends over at South Side Sox. We always get a great response from you all, so it was a no-brainer 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 Brewers began Opening Day last season with a payroll of $39.2 mil, but for a shortened 60-game season. The club shed payroll last offseason and there have already been suggestions that payroll will once again shrink this winter after no fans in 2020 due to the coronavirus. So this year the payroll limit will be set at $85 mil. As things stand right now, the Brewers are projected for roughly $82 mil in payroll for 2021. That means you will have to get creative in order to make significant changes.
*MLB Trade Rumors has a list of the 2020-21 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 created as an average 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.
[Remember — just because the Brewers may have may a non-tender or option decision or free agent signing in real life does not mean that you need to make that exact move for this exercise.]
- Daniel Vogelbach ($1.56 mil) —
- Orlando Arcia ($3.1 mil) —
- Alex Claudio ($2.1 mil) —
- Ben Gamel ($1.83 mil if option not exercised) —
- Josh Hader ($5.5 mil) —
- Ryon Healy ($1 mil) —
- Corey Knebel ($5.125 mil) —
- Omar Narvaez ($2.9 mil) —
- Manny Pina ($2.13 mil) —
- Brandon Woodruff ($3 mil) —
- Jace Peterson ($800K) —
Explain the toughest calls if necessary:
Contract options (pick up or buy out)
- Ryan Braun ($15 mil mutual option, $4 mil buyout)
- Jedd Gyorko ($4.5 mil team option, $1 mil buyout)
- Eric Sogard ($4.5 mil team option, $500K buyout)
- Ben Gamel ($2.55 mil team option, no buyout, arb-eligible if declined)
Explain the toughest calls if necessary:
Impending free agents (re-sign, let go or qualifying offer)
- Brett Anderson: made $5 mil in 2020 (eligible for QO)
Elaborate if needed:
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. IF DJ LeMahieu: 3 years, $54 mil. He showed legit power during his two seasons with the Yankees while continuing to hit for average and put the ball in play, including a batting title in 2020. He can handle third base, a position of need for the Brewers, and has previously been a Gold Glover at the keystone, where Keston Hiura wears a glove made of iron. What’s not to like?
Propose a trade or two or several that you think sound reasonable for both sides, and the rationale behind them. Example:
1. LHP Josh Hader to San Diego for RHP Zach Davies and OF Trent Grisham. A highly paid reliever is a luxury for a small market team like Milwaukee; instead, Davies can provide some reasonably priced and effective innings in the rotation before reaching free agency after a career-best 2.73 ERA in 2020. Grisham, who has five years of control remaining, is fresh off a Gold Glove in center field and a 122 OPS+ in his first full MLB season. He can provide coverage for the aging Lorenzo Cain while also pushing for regular playing time in right field after Avisail Garcia’s disappointing season.
If you end up with a complete, rock solid 26-man roster under the new rules, feel free to list it with as much detail as you can. The more in-depth, the better. Our Menomonee Valley Nine has now made the postseason for three years in a row but some major decisions need to be made regarding the team’s direction heading into 2021. Try to compete under a shoestring budget? Begin rebuilding a barren farm system? Remember that whichever way you go, you are under a strict payroll constraint.
For some, part of the game might be trying to guess as much of the 2021 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 from other posts 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!