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Pitchers and Catchers Report: Milwaukee Brewers 2020-21 offseason in review

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We said goodbye to many who played for the Crew in 2020, but that only means we’ll get to know a new crop of Brewers in 2021

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Cincinnati Reds David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Milwaukee Brewers baseball is just around the corner. With Winter and COVID-19, pitchers and catchers reporting reminds us that Spring and baseball are coming soon. As Brewers’ pitchers and catchers report to their Maryvale, Arizona training facility, they will embark on a 2021 season that sees them going after am unprecedented fourth straight playoff appearance. Until recently not a lot happened regarding major moves. But February brought Kolten Wong, Brett Anderson, and Travis Shaw into the fold.

Beyond the aforementioned moves, Milwaukee could add significant value from their current player group that either opted out (Lorenzo Cain) or played well below normal performance in 2020 (Christian Yelich, Omar Narvaez, and Avisail Garcia). With the emergence of dominant pitching at the top-of-the-rotation as well as at the back-end of the bullpen, optimism will likely be high amongst those in the Brewers’ organization.

The Brewers made multiple moves via subtraction and addition. The most substantial subtraction, at least for now, was Ryan Braun. How odd it will be to see a Brewers’ team without him on it. With that in mind, let’s first take a look at the players that left.

Players that said goodbye:

October

LHP Brett Anderson elected free agency, but was re-signed in February.

OF Ryan Braun mutual option was declined and elected free agency; has said that he is not interested in playing at this point in time.

UTL Eric Sogard team option declined, elected free agency, and still on the market.

UTL Jedd Gyorko team option declined, elected free agency, and still on the market.

1B Ryon Healy refused minor league assignment, elected free agency, and eventually signed a 1-year, $1 million contract with the Hanwha Eagles of the Korean Baseball Organization.

November

OF Keon Broxton elected free agency and is a non-roster invitee with the Minnesota Twins.

RHP Aaron Wilkerson elected free agency and eventually signed a contract with the Rakuten Monkeys of the Taiwan’s Chinese Professional Baseball League.

RHP Shelby Miller elected free agency and is a non-roster invitee with the Chicago Cubs.

C Tuffy Gosewisch elected free agency and is still on the market.

December

LHP Alex Claudio was not offered a contract, elected free agency, and eventually signed a 1-year, $1.125 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels.

OF Ben Gamel was not offered a contract and eventually signed a minor league deal with Cleveland.

February

C-1B David Freitas was released and signed with Kiwoom Heros of the Korean Baseball Organization.


With some losses to the roster, the Brewers’ front office had major holes to fill. To fill one of the holes, they got creative as they signed Kolten Wong to play second base and moved Keston Hiura first base. Then the Brewers signed Travis Shaw to potentially play third base — if he makes the team as a non-roster invitee. Very quickly what was thought to be holes were filled; at least in theory. As is his modus operandi, David Stearns also added a lot of utility-type of players. Those moves offer Craig Counsell versatility and options. Even with the moves made recently, don’t be surprised if more moves come before Opening Day.

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

OF Lorenzo Cain reinstated from the restricted list after opting out of the 2020 season.

C Mario Feliciano purchased his minor league contract and was added to the 40-man roster.

RHP Alec Bettinger purchased his minor league contract and was added to the 40-man roster.

RHP Dylan File purchased his minor league contract and was added to the 40-man roster.

December

C Omar Narvaez signed a 1-year, $2.5 million contract avoiding arbitration.

SS Orlando Arcia signed a 1-year, $2 million contract avoiding arbitration.

1B Daniel Vogelbach signed a 1-year, $1.4 million contract avoiding arbitration.

C Manny Pina signed a 1-year, $1.65 million contract avoiding arbitration.

RHP Zach Green signed a minor league contract and is a non-roster invitee to Spring Training.

C Luke Maile signed a 1-year, $825 thousand contract and was added to the 40-man roster.

OF Dustin Peterson signed a minor league contract.

OF Dylan Cousins signed a minor league contract and is a non-roster invite to Spring Training.

LHP Hoby Milner signed a minor league contract and is a non-roster invite to Spring Training.

RHP Luis Perdomo signed a two-year minor league contract and will not pitch in 2021 due to Tommy John surgery, but will return and play for the Brewers in 2022.

UTL Tim Lopes was claimed off waivers from Seattle and added to the 40-man roster.

January

OF Pablo Reyes signed a minor league contract and is a non-roster invite to Spring Training.

UTL Jace Peterson signed a minor league contract.

LHP Josh Hader signed a 1-year, $6.675 million contract avoiding arbitration.

RHP Brandon Woodruff signed a 1-year, $3.28 million contract avoiding arbitration.

UTL Daniel Robertson signed a 1-year, $900,000 contract.

LHP Blaine Hardy signed a minor league contract and is a non-roster invite to Spring Training.

February

2B Kolten Wong signed a 2-year, $18 million contract with a club option for 2023 that could push the contract to $26 million.

RHP Jordan Zimmerman signed a minor league contract and is an invite to Spring Training.

RHP Brad Boxberger signed a minor league contract and is an invite to Spring Training.

OF Derek Fisher acquired in a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays for cash considerations or a PTBNL.

LHP Brett Anderson signed a 1-year, $2.5 million contract.

3B-1B Travis Shaw signed a minor league contract with an invite to Spring Training.


Stearns and Company got busy right before pitchers and catchers reported. In just February alone, Stearns covered his hole at first base while simultaneously improving Milwaukee’s up-the-middle defense in the signing of Kolten Wong and re-positioning of Keston Hiura to first base. He deepened his starting rotation with the addition Brett Anderson. He also brought in a high ceiling third baseman in Travis Shaw on a non-guaranteed contract that could prove beneficial for all involved, but eliminated risk for the Brewers at the same time. Plus the additions that will come in terms of improved performance by existing players and adding Lorenzo Cain back to the lineup are almost like multiple free agent acquisitions.