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.
Garza wasn’t the nicest player (especially in the clubhouse), so he won’t be missed at all.
Biggest free agent bust in Brewers history
Jeff Suppan would like a word.
Nah. Not even close. Jeffrey Hammonds.
Re-signing Ted Higuera after the 1990 season tops them all (they got 4 years, 125 total innings, 5 wins and a 6.34 ERA) Makes Garza and Suppan look like All Stars.
Shhhhhh… 75% of fans on these forums weren’t even born when Higuera signed that contract and know nothing about baseball pre-Steroid Era. Therefore, it doesn’t exist to them.
Pre steroid baseball?? That was awhile ago. They only took bennies back then.
That’s a savage contract. nicely done
@Sundown. Truest words I’ve seen in awhile.
I can’t see Huntington shopping McCutchen without the consequences. Fans are already unhappy with front office decisions, and that would be the nail in the coffin for attendance if they ship out McCutchen.
Most fans realize outside of a 2 month stretch he has been bad. His skills are diminishing and his hat only plays in CF.
Didn’t do too good during April and May, did good between June and July, didn’t have a good August, and picked it up in September. They need to keep him though. One of The Pirates biggest problems is driving in runners on base, and he’s been very good with runners on. This year, he’s batted 306 with runners on, and 316 with RISP. Plus, he’s a big clubhouse figure. Chemistry is a big part of winning.
That kind of thing is kind of fluky though. Not to say that McCutchen isn’t a good hitter or anything, he is, but clutch performance gets a bit crazy with the small samples
I do not see the Bucs actively trying to move McCutchen over the winter but if some team was silly enough to offer the moon for Cutch, the Pirates will move him. If no big offer comes, he stays and will play at least to the deadline. If the team is in it at the deadline, he plays out the season. If they are stinking it up, the move him then.
” … and his hat only plays in CF.”
So if he plays in LF or RF, he goes bareheaded?
I don’t see him actively shopping him but for different reasons. There just are not any internal options to replace him.
Meadows has been dealing with injury the past two seasons and his development has been slowed. after that the team has a handful of 4th out fielder types.
Not to say he won’t be listening. I’m sure if someone calls and offers a handful of top 100 prospects he would have not choice but to listen and consider it seriously and then look on the market. Nice thing is with marte on the team, wouldn’t need to be a Center Fielder.. could be anyone who can shag flys and hit 🙂
Good news for the DBacks if they advance to the NLDS. Lamb has struggled against lefties and taking Avilan out of LA’s bullpen could be a big factor late in games
Lamb hit at least 2 HRs off Avilan this year. Besides dodgers wont carry many lefties vs the dbacks anyways because Lamb is their only guy who you need a lefty for.
They have Watson and Cingrani, both of whom are arguably better. They could also use Ryu out of the pen if they decide not to start him.
I don’t see how they can even consider Ryu for this NLDS roster. You can’t trust him to pitch in Chase/Coors, this year, and due to his shoulder injuries an extremely long get hot routine. I guess the major difference is you really can’t script innings in the playoffs. So knowing he needs 45 minutes that’s hard to count on unless he was starting. I can see Ryu potentially on the CS roster. The loss of Avilan can prove to be a little painful, but I do like Watson and then Cingrani as your LHS.
Ryu was used in relief this season though it was just the one time as I recall, it was planned for several innings, and they warmed him up accordingly. Starter and reliever warmups are different routines. Wood has also been discussed as a reliever but if that happens it will only be because they don’t trust him to start a game 4 and we’d be seeing Kershaw on short rest again.
Its because it was scripted which is my whole point. You can’t script playoff games. In the regular season you can say well Ryu has the 6th through the 8th no matter what the matchup is, he’s going to eat innings.
You can’t in the playoffs. His repertoire also isn’t ideally suited to face lefties seeing as he’s been heavy fb/ch guy this year and then you have to add in his .962 ops and his 150 era+ v left handed hitters. In other words he’s probably the last situational lhp you want to see and if that’s his role things have gone very wrong.
There are some injuries that change the thought process of a pitchers ability to throw out of the pen. Sadly that one to Ryu is it. On the other note I don’t believe they’ll start Kersh on short rest. I also believe that using Wood out of the pen early in the series is smart. He’ll go an extended amount of time in between throwing and his usage in the pen would essentially line up to be his in between pen.
All that said if they added Ryu to the CS roster, I don’t have a problem because your dealing with better pitching environments for the most part.
That one case is was scripted as you say, but if he was to be converted to a reliever they’d be working him into a reliever’s warmup routine. I agree with you to the extent that it’s probably too late to make that transition for Ryu. They had hopes right up to his last start that he’d make an argument to be the #4 in the postseason and it seemed like he might, right up to the end. Having tossed those dice and lost, Ryu is stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Wood is another dilemma. Once again the Dodgers are saying they won’t start Kershaw on short rest but that’s what they’ve said in past postseasons. Slotting Wood into the bullpen and also counting on him for a start is tricky. He’d have to strictly pitch-limited in his relief appearances.
Plenty of clubs that need cheap innings. White Sox, Tigers, Reds, Padres, Baltimore, KC and Miami stand out to me.
If Jered Weaver can get $3,000,000 guaranteed, I could certainly see Garza getting offers.
At the very least, you know what you’re getting: a 4.90 ERA starter who comes with experience. Its better than shuttling AAAA arms out there 2 or 3 out of every five days.
Scherzer isn’t a Cy Young hopeful so maybe they should stop saying that. It should be Kershaws without a doubt.
Lol sure if you only look at ERA which is overrated. Otherwise Scherzer deserves it. But then again I guess Dodger fans need a consolation prize since the 250 million dollar team seems to choke in the playoffs, and kershaw is average when it matters the most.
Keyshaw missed around a month of the season as well, scherzer definitely is in the mix for the cy young, especially with significantly more innings pitched
Unfortunately Kershaw led the league in wins. As awful as a metric that it is for use of determining the Cy Young winner, it’s quite correlated with voters’ decision making.
The bigger issue with McCutchen playing center isn’t that his defensive metrics have declined the past two seasons, it’s that one of the best defensive outfielders in the league (Starling Marte) plays in the same outfield. THAT makes no sense.
you can make some sense of it.. though you can still argue how it would work out.
When Cutch was in right field he did generally poor, Polanco did rather poor in left. Marte also seemed down at center, but was still pretty darn good. Granted pretty small sample. Once Cutch learned the wall and Polanco adjusted some probably would’ve ended up better
With Cutch in Center you have a passable Center fielder, an Average+ right fielder in Polanco (if healthy) and probably the League’s best Left fielder whose home field has a rather large left field..
With Cutch in right the combind UZR/150 was 9.3, With cutch in Center it was 13.9. Granted Cutch in right didn’t last long.. To me, it is a wash.. either way you’d get about the same result, might as well keep players in a position they’re comfort able with.
After Cutch’s 2016 performance in center.. it was a no-brainer to try it.. but 2017 was much better for Cutch… not great but better so at least for the time being I’d keep him in center
To me the teams bigger outfield problem is Polanco getting him to perform and stay healthy seems to be a task.. Polanco only played ~823innings in ’17 and Marte even less.. so really the whole discussion for ’17 is kinda pointless i guess 🙂
Waino will be a stud in the bullpen next year.
Did you not just read that Wainwright will be in the rotation???
Yes, and we all know that if we read it know it will definately come to fruition in 2018.
Exactly- his days as a starter are done