The end of the CBA is looming, and signs of the uncertainty have sent the free agent market into full force. Several deals were announced over the weekend, including the departure of two of the Brewers free agents. Outfielder Avisail Garcia signed with the Marlins on a 4-year, $53 million deal, and infielder Eduardo Escobar went to the Mets on a 2-year, $25 million deal. Both players and teams are getting as much as they can done before the CBA expires on Wednesday, which will likely lead to a lockout and transaction freeze. While the Brewers have been quiet so far, they will have their own decisions looming in the upcoming week.
The non-tender deadline will have several players from the Brewers facing tender decisions. In total, the Brewers have 13 players who are arbitration eligible. Here is that list, along with their MLB Trade Rumors salary projections:
- Josh Hader: $10 million
- Brandon Woodruff: $7.1 million
- Omar Narvaez: $4.1 million
- Willy Adames: $4 million
- Corbin Burnes: $4 million
- Eric Lauer: $2.7 million
- Luis Urias: $2.4 million
- Brent Suter: $2.3 million
- Adrian Houser: $2.3 million
- Daniel Vogelbach: $2 million
- Rowdy Tellez: $1.9 million
- Jace Peterson: $1.3 million
- Jandel Gustave: $800,000
Expect to see a few players non-tendered in that list. There also might be a player or two traded ahead of the deadline. There will also likely be a contract or two signed in that list, as the Brewers have usually signed a few arbitration players to a 1-year contract ahead of the non-tender deadline. Some of these are “take it or leave it” deals, where the player takes a lower deal than their projection or is non-tendered. With the CBA set to expire, we’ll have to wait and see how the Brewers decide to approach this one.
It’s also possible that the Brewers will sign a free agent or two in the next few days. Activity is expected to be high as both sides get as much set in stone as they can before the expiration. In addition, with players non-tendered, a whole new set of players will hit the market right before the expiration. That will give an additional opportunity to add to the team.
Once the expiration of the CBA passes, everything will come to a halt. The market will be quiet with no CBA in place, likely leading to a transaction freeze and a lockout. Not much will happen after that until a new CBA is in place. Enjoy the next few days, as it might be the most meaningful activity we see for a while.