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Pitchers and Catchers Report: Milwaukee Brewers 2019-2020 offseason in review

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Mass exodus of players from 2019 make room for a new 2020 version of the Milwaukee Brewers

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Milwaukee Brewers Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

Baseball is back for the Milwaukee Brewers! With pitchers and catchers reporting today, Milwaukee will embark on a 2020 season that sees them going after a club record third straight playoff appearance. Unlike 2019, there has been little in the way of flashy moves unless you count allowing flashy players to sign free agent contracts elsewhere. David Stearns and Company made up for that with a plethora of moves that saw Brewer favorites leave and new names come into the fray. First let’s take a look at the players that left.

Players that said goodbye:

October

INF Hernan Perez elected free agency and eventually signed a minor league contract with the Chicago Cubs.

RHP Jay Jackson elected free agency and eventually signed with the Chiba Lotte Marines of the Nippon Professional Baseball Organization in Japan.

LHP Drew Pomeranz elected free agency and eventually signed a 4-year, $34 million contract with the San Diego Padres.

RHP Matt Albers elected free agency.

RHP Jordan Lyles elected free agency and eventually signed a 2-year, $16 million contract with the Texas Rangers.

LHP Gio Gonzalez elected free agency and eventually signed a 1-year, $4.5 million contract with the Chicago White Sox with a 2021 club option.

November

C Yasmani Grandal elected free agency and eventually signed a 4-year, $73 million contract with the Chicago White Sox.

INF Mike Moustakas elected free agency and eventually signed a 4-year, $64 million contract with the Cincinnati Reds.

RHP Chase Anderson was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for minor league first baseman, Chad Spanberger.

OF-1B Tyler Austin refused an outright assignment to the minors and elected free agency. Austin signed with the Yokohama DeNA Baystars of the Nippon Professional Baseball Organization in Japan on a one-year, deal with a club option.

INF Cory Spangenberg refused an outright assignment to the minors and elected free agency. Spangenberg signed with the Seibu Lions of the Nippon Professional Baseball Organization in Japan.

1B/OF Eric Thames had his team option declined by Milwaukee, and he declared for free agency. Thames signed with the Washington Nationals on a 1-year, $4 million contract with a mutual option for 2021.

RHP Zach Davies and OF Trent Grisham were traded to the San Diego Padres in exchange for Luis Urias, Eric Lauer, and a PTBNL or cash considerations.

December

INF Travis Shaw was non-tendered and eventually signed by with the Toronto Blue Jays on a 1-year, $4 million contract.

RHP Jimmy Nelson was non-tendered and eventually signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers on a 1-year, $1 million contract with incentives that could pay him up to $3 million.

RHP Junior Guerra was non-tendered and eventually signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks on a 1-year, $2.55 millon with the inclusion of a club option.

INF-OF Tyler Saladino was non-tendered and eventually signed with the Samsung Lions in the Korean Baseball Organization.

January

RHP Deolis Guerra was actually added to the 40-man roster in October only to be designated for assignment in January in order to clear a spot for David Phelps. Guerra was claimed by the Philadelphia Phillies.


With so many players removed from the roster, the Brewers’ front office had to fill in the holes with new players and at least ensure some level of stability by signing certain players facing arbitration or option years.

Players joining via trade or free agent acquisition or remaining with the Brewers after signing contracts to avoid arbitration, getting minor league contracts purchased, or getting options picked up:

November

C Manny Pina had his $1.85 million option picked up by Milwaukee.

LHP Angel Perdomo had his minor league contract purchased and was added to the 40-man roster.

RHP Eric Yardley was claimed off waivers from San Diego and placed on the 40-man roster.

INF Mark Mathias was acquired in trade with the Cleveland Indians for minor league catcher Andres Melendez and added to the 40-man roster.

RHP J.P. Feyereisen had his minor league contract purchased and was added to the 40-man roster.

OF Corey Ray had his minor league contract purchased and was added to the 40-man roster.

INF Luis Urias, LHP Eric Lauer, and a PTBNL or cash considerations were acquired in trade with the San Diego Padres for Zach Davies and Trent Grisham.

DECEMBER

OF Ben Gamel signed a 1-year, $1.4 million contract with a club option for 2021 avoiding arbitration.

SS Orlando Arcia signed a 1-year, $2.2 million contract with a team option for 2021 avoiding arbitration.

C Omar Narvaez was acquired in trade with the Seattle Mariners for Adam Hill and the Brewers’ 2020 competitive balance pick. Narvaez signed a 1-year, $2.725 million avoiding arbitration.

INF Ronny Rodriguez was claimed off waivers from Detroit and added to the 40-man roster.

LHP Alex Claudio was non-tendered early in the month, but he was later signed to a 1-year, $1.75 million contract.

RHP Corey Knebel signed a 1-year contract avoiding arbitration.

LHP Brett Anderson signed a 1-year, $5 million contract.

RHP Josh Lindblom signed a 3-year, $9.1 million contract.

OF Avisail Garcia signed a 2-year, $20 million contract with an escalating 2022 option.

INF Ryon Healy signed a 1-year, $1 million contract.

1B Justin Smoak signed a 1-year, $5 million contract.

INF Eric Sogard signed a 1-year, $4.5 million contract with a 2021 club option.

INF Jedd Gyorko signed a 1-year, $2 million contract with a club option for 2021.

RHP David Phelps signed a 1-year, $1.5 million contract with a club option for 2021.


Milwaukee has a large number of minor league invitees that have the potential to impact the major league squad in 2020 as well. Some of the headliners include: Keon Broxton, Shelby Miller, Justin Grimm, Jace Peterson, Logan Morrison, Tuffy Gosewich, and Mike Morin. While Jake Faria was designated for assignment, he passed through waivers and was sent to the minor leagues too.

With the exodus of so many house-hold names like Grandal, Moustakas, Thames, Shaw, Nelson, and Perez, the new Brewers might take a little bit of time to get to know. Milwaukee failed to bring in the splashy acquisition in 2020 like they did in 2018 and 2019. Nonetheless they brought in a lot of players that could make a modest to substantial impact. Luis Urias, Avi Garcia, Eric Laurer, Omar Narvaez, and Josh Lindblom are apt to become the new household names. Justin Smoak, David Phelps, and Jedd Gyorko could bounce back and give the Brewers a needed boost. In any case, the Milwaukee Brewers will be worth watching.

Poll

How would you grade the Brewers’ 2019-2020 offseason?

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    A
    (12 votes)
  • 28%
    B
    (101 votes)
  • 40%
    C
    (145 votes)
  • 22%
    D
    (80 votes)
  • 5%
    F
    (18 votes)
356 votes total Vote Now