June 12, 2021

Milwaukee Adds Anderson | FanGraphs Baseball (FanGraphs)

Milwaukee has arguably been the biggest beneficiary of the league’s austerity on the free agent market in recent seasons. A damp market gave the Brewers an opportunity to sign Lorenzo Cain to a team-friendly five-year deal in January of 2018, and their new center fielder’s 5.7 WAR campaign proved instrumental in a season Milwaukee won the NL Central by a single game. General manager David Stearns turned an even tidier trick last winter, inking Yasmani Grandal and Mike Moustakas to one-year pillow contracts in January and February respectively. Both made the All-Star team and they combined for 8 WAR as the Brewers again narrowly clinched a playoff berth.

Critically, the Brewers haven’t succeeded by aggressively courting free agents, but rather by waiting out the competition and swooping in with palatable offers to desperate players at the dawn of spring training. Cain surely entered his recruitment period thinking a nine-figure offer was a strong possibility, and neither Grandal nor Moustakas hit the market hoping for anything less than a multi-year deal. As prices fell, Milwaukee pounced. In capitalizing on a cool market, the Brewers were able to meaningfully…

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