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Milwaukee Brewers: Comprehensive 2018-19 Offseason Primer

Milwaukee Brewers

LOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 16: Gio Gonzalez #47 of the Milwaukee Brewers is looked at by the trainer after being injuried during the second inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game Four of the National League Championship Series at Dodger Stadium on October 16, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

The Milwaukee Brewers are reigning NL Central Champions and will look to defend their title in 2019. To do that, they’re going to need to make some improvements to the ballclub.

The offseason can be an exciting time for fans as they watch General Managers make move after move to try to improve their teams. Milwaukee Brewers GM David Stearns is one of the best in the business at building a team. Last winter was slower than most in recent memory, but with a big free agent class this offseason, that figures to change.

There’s various ways to improve the Brewers going into next season, and there’s a lot of ways in which it could change. We don’t know how things will turn out this winter, but David Stearns has earned the trust of fans to believe that what he’s doing is the right move.

With that, here’s a comprehensive 2018-19 offseason primer for Milwaukee Brewers fans which will cover free agents, contract options, arbitration players, and Rule 5 eligible players.

Unrestricted Free Agents (5)

Gio Gonzalez, Wade Miley, Curtis Granderson, Dan Jennings, Erik Kratz

Gio Gonzalez was a nice pickup from Washington at the end of August. He made five regular season starts and pitched well in them. He also made two postseason starts and failed to make it into the third inning in either of them, although the first was by design and the second was because of injury. Don’t anticipate Gonzalez coming back.

Wade Miley is an interesting case. A minor league signee in spring training, Miley turned in a tremendous 2.57 ERA in 16 regular season starts this year and was one of the two trusted starting pitchers for the Milwaukee Brewers in the postseason. He made four postseason starts and finished October with a 1.23 ERA. However, his advanced metrics lead you to believe this success is unsustainable. Plus he’s also likely to get large offers from other clubs in free agency. It’s tough to see Miley back in a Milwaukee uniform.

Curtis Granderson was a nice bench addition for the final stretch run. He didn’t have a major impact on the field but his clubhouse presence helped more than anything. Given the already crowded outfield picture, the soon-to-be 38 year old Granderson is likely headed elsewhere this winter.

Dan Jennings was a pretty good left handed option out of the bullpen for most of the year, finishing with a 3.22 ERA. He struggled a bit towards the end of the season and was left off both postseason rosters. With Xavier Cedeno under control for another season, this may have been the last we see of Jennings in a Brewers uniform.

Erik Kratz was the darling of the Milwaukee Brewers in 2018. A career backup, Kratz played better than his career numbers for the Brewers this season and at 38 years old while making his first postseason roster, it was a great story. However, this could end up being his only year in Milwaukee. He’ll be 39 next season and the Brewers have other, younger options at the position with a better track record at the plate. It’s doubtful that Kratz would be back for another season.

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