January 14: Gyorko’s option is valued at $4.5MM with a $1MM buyout, tweets Robert Murray. That indicates that his 2020 base salary will be just $1MM. Gyorko can boost the value of that club option to $5.5MM by tallying 400 plate appearances or $7MM if he reaches 500 plate appearances.
January 10: The Brewers have added further infield depth to their bench, announcing a one-year contract with veteran Jedd Gyorko. The ACES client will reportedly be guaranteed $2MM on the deal, which contains a club option for the 2021 season. Right-hander Jake Faria was designated for assignment to create roster space, per the team.
Gyorko, 31, scuffled through the worst season of his career in 2019 when he posted a .174/.248/.250 slash through 101 plate appearances while battling injuries. However, he’s long been a solid big league hitter who can handle all four infield positions and, from 2016-18 in St. Louis, posted a combined .259/.331/.463 batting line with 61 homers in 1321 plate appearances.
Milwaukee was already set to enter the 2020 season with a vastly different infield mix than the one it carried in 2019. Mike Moustakas signed a surprising four-year deal with the division-rival Reds, while Travis Shaw was non-tendered and Eric Thames’ option was bought out. Meanwhile, they’ve acquired Luis Urias in a trade with the Padres and signed a trio of infielders: first baseman Justin Smoak, second baseman/shortstop Eric Sogard and corner infielder Ryon Healy. The Brewers will also have a full season of Keston Hiura in 2020 after he began the ’19 campaign in the minors.
Gyorko isn’t likely to be promised an everyday role but could bounce around the infield and serve as a right-handed complement Sogard or even to Smoak, a switch-hitter who’s better from the left side of the dish. He’ll give the Brewers some additional depth in the event of injuries or poor showings throughout the lineup, and if he’s able to return to his 2016-18 form, he’ll be yet another value pickup for a team that tends to limit its free-agent expenditures to low-cost and/or short-term commitments (Lorenzo Cain notwithstanding).
Faria came to Milwaukee in last summer’s Jesus Aguilar trade, but the 26-year-old was knocked around in brief MLB action, yielding 11 runs in 8 2/3 innings. The 26-year-old Faria impressed with 86 2/3 innings of 3.43 ERA ball and nearly a strikeout per frame in his rookie season back in 2017, but he hasn’t excelled in the Majors or in Triple-A since that time.