As the Brewers head into an important offseason, the bullpen has become a cause for concern.
The Brewers at the trade deadline last season traded what many believe was the best reliever in baseball in Josh Hader. After the trade, it seemed like the team imploded, losing the division and their spot in the playoffs. With the poor second-half performance, the Brewers started to vie for some more turnover via trades in the offseason, shipping Hunter Renfroe to Los Angeles and Kolten Wong to Seattle. While Wong’s return includes major-league proven Jesse Winker, neither move can be qualified as a splash for Milwaukee. After relying heavily on pitching over the last few years, Milwaukee is in need of some more bullpen help, as their only elite reliever at this point is Devin Williams.
One of the more enticing pieces of the Hader trade, Rogers joined the Brewers around the halfway point and didn’t have a great stint with Milwaukee, giving up 14 runs in only 24 appearances while tallying three saves. Because he has already been on the team and is familiar with the organization, the 32-year-old lefty could still help the bullpen depth going into next season. Bringing back the lefty could also help due to Suter’s departure, leaving Hoby Milner as the lone lefty on Milwaukee’s current 40-man roster.
A younger option that could provide more longevity than Rogers, the former Diamondback and Royal has had an up-and-down career. Weaver is still only 29 and could improve with a change of scenery. Due to the free agency pool being a majority of players over the age of 30, Weaver is one of the younger relievers that could provide some upside in the long term.
The 31-year-old righty has shown some promise in his last couple of seasons with the Giants, especially in 2021 where he posted a 1.51 ERA in 57 appearances. While he had a slightly down season in 2022, he could be a worthy arm to help the Brewers in middle relief. He also has significant postseason experience, which could be helpful if Milwaukee can make a return to October in 2023.
Green has been a reliable arm out of the Yankees’ bullpen the last few years, making 67 appearances in 2021 and pitching to an ERA just over 3.00. He could provide a huge boost to the bullpen should the Brewers decide to try and win now. After their trade of Hader, going all in seemed something of the past, but bringing in a consistent righty could propel the pitching staff forward. He is also another guy with postseason experience, making appearances each year from 2017 to 2021. He might come with a bit higher of a price tag, but he could be worth a shot for a team in need of pitching help.
The 36-year-old has had a long career in the MLB and has proven that he can continue to provide quality pitching, even in the twilight of his career. He has a 2.98 ERA over his 13-year-career, making him one of the longest tenured relievers in the majors. He also has one of the weirdest wind-ups and deliveries in all of baseball, providing a different look from most other arms out of Milwaukee’s bullpen, with the notable exception of Milner. Cishek isn’t going to put the Crew over the top, but he could provide consistent innings in any bullpen role. As a veteran with a lot of versatility, Cishek could help the Brewers in many different situations, making him an ideal candidate for the 2023 roster.