The Brewers have announced some early-offseason roster moves. As anticipated, Mike Moustakas and Yasmani Grandal have each declined their side of mutual options and will become free agents. Meanwhile, the Milwaukee organization opened two additional 40-man spots by outrighting first baseman/outfielder Tyler Austin and utilityman Cory Spangenberg.
Those mutual options were never expected to be entertained seriously; they were included in the respective contracts as a mechanism of deferring salary. Moustakas receives $3MM on his way out the door and will forego an $11MM salary. He seems quite likely to surpass that $8MM gulf in free agent earnings, though it remains to be seen whether he’ll finally get a longer pact.
Grandal, meanwhile, will take a $2.25MM payout and another bite at the free agent apple rather than settling for a $16MM salary. He wagered heavily on his ability to turn in another high-quality campaign when he went to Milwaukee. That looks to have paid off both for Grandal and the Brewers, as he’s now in line to secure a large and lengthy pact in his return to the open market.
As for the other players involved in today’s moves, they’ll each have the right to elect free agency. Austin had only a brief stint in Milwaukee after a rough showing with the Giants. He’s a .219/.292/.451 hitter in 583 career plate appearances. The 28-year-old Spangenberg struggled badly in his brief MLB time this season but did hit .309/.378/.498 in 476 plate appearances at Triple-A.