The Brewers’ impending free agents – infielders Neil Walker and Eric Sogard, reliever Anthony Swarzak and starter Matt Garza – spoke about their futures Sunday with Adam McCalvy of MLB.com and other reporters. Walker, the most noteworthy of the bunch, suggested that he’s keen on testing the open market in the offseason, though the August trade acquisitions did note that Milwaukee “is the type of team I’m going to be looking at. One that’s ready to win now and one that I can help.” Sogard and Swarzak made it clear they’d like to return to the Brewers, meanwhile, with the latter saying: “There’s still room to get better, and hopefully everybody in Brewers Nation gets to see a better Anthony Swarzak next year, because I want to stay here. I want to make another push here.”
While there’s clearly more baseball ahead of Walker, Sogard and Swarzak, the elder statesman of the group, Garza, admitted that his career could be at an end. The soon-to-be 34-year-old Garza acknowledged that he has struggled over the past couple seasons and said he’s “not expecting much” in the way of offers during the winter. Garza is wrapping up the four-year, $50MM contract he inked with the Brewers prior to the 2014 campaign. The righty made 96 appearances (93 starts) as a Brewer and logged a 4.65 ERA/4.38 FIP with the team.
More from the National League:
- The MRI that Nationals ace Max Scherzer underwent on his right hamstring after he exited Saturday’s start only showed a minor tweak, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post was among those to report (Twitter links). The Cy Young hopeful is unsure if he’ll be able to take the ball for Game 1 of the NLDS against the Cubs on Friday, but he looked “normal” when playing catch before the Nationals’ game Sunday, Janes observes.
- Andrew McCutchen will remain in center field if he’s still on the Pirates next year, general manager Neal Huntington told Adam Berry of MLB.com and other media Sunday. From 2009-16, McCutchen lined up exclusively in center field, but after an especially poor showing in the grass last year, the Pirates shifted him to right in favor of Starling Marte. McCutchen took over again in center after Major League Baseball gave Marte an 80-game suspension in April for using performance-enhancing drugs and never relinquished the position. For the fourth year in a row, advanced metrics gave unfavorable reviews to McCutchen’s work in center (minus-14 Defensive Runs Saved, minus-4.4 Ultimate Zone Rating), but he did have a bounce-back season at the plate after a down 2016. Looking ahead to the offseason, picking up McCutchen’s $14.5MM club option for 2018, his final year of team control, should be a no-brainer for the Pirates. However, it’s possible they’ll shop him again after doing so last winter.
- Cardinals righty Adam Wainwright will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his pitching elbow on Tuesday, per Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The procedure won’t jeopardize Wainwright’s spring training availability or his spot in the Redbirds’ rotation next year, according to manager Mike Matheny. Wainwright went on the disabled list with an elbow impingement Aug. 18 and only pitched one more time in 2017, on Sept. 23. The former ace finished the season with a career-worst ERA and walk rate (5.11 and 3.28, respectively) over 123 1/3 innings.
- The Dodgers won’t have left-handed reliever Luis Avilan for their NLDS matchup with the Diamondbacks or Rockies, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com tweets. Avilan has been shelved since Sept. 21 with a sore shoulder. He contributed 46 innings of 2.61 ERA ball and posted 10.17 K/9 against 4.3 BB/9, with a 53.8 percent groundball rate, during the regular season. Avilan was particularly tough on same-handed hitters, holding them to a .195/.290/.280 line.