The Brewers have a target in mind to use up some of the significant funds they’ve saved so far this offseason, and also to try to replace the bats they lost to free agency.
No deal done just yet, but this has the sound of something that is going to happen eventually:
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 14, 2019
Update: Brewers working hard on Avisail Garcia. Rays had him last year and want him back. Marlins in but it may be too rich for them. https://t.co/xW0dG1yjcT
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 14, 2019
If the Rays had wanted Garcia back, I wonder if the Yoshitomo Tsutsugo signing is what spurred them to move on and allow the Brewers/Marlins to close in on a deal. Garcia has variously been projected to get a one or two-year deal in the $6 to $10 million AAV range.
Never the star many thought he could be in his younger days – or that he teased in his 2017 season – Garcia has nevertheless turned into a probably-pretty-darn-solid bat and passable defensive outfielder. With the Rays last year, Garcia posted a .282/.332/.464 line with a 112 wRC+, which was basically earned by the peripherals. Indeed, as a line-drive guy with a lot of hard contact, Garcia is always going to post an elevated BABIP (.340 last year), and his hard contact has increased each of the last three years. There’s probably some additional upside here.
Garcia actually has a somewhat similar profile to that of free agent Nick Castellanos (and is also just 28), with a line-drive stroke, no walks, and around league-average strikeouts (touch more than Castellanos). There almost certainly is not quite as much total offensive upside, though, and Castellanos has done it consistently for a lot longer. Garcia rates better defensively than Castellanos, for what it’s worth.
That is all to say, Garcia is likely a solid overall bat, and would replace Mike Moustakas’s total production, if not the power production, specifically. Defensively, Garcia would probably slot into left field (or right field, if Christian Yelich moves back over there), with Ryan Braun primarily playing first base.
This would be a pretty good signing for the Brewers, I regret to say. It kinda seems to be their MO in the David Stearns era: just flat-out smart targets on reasonable deals.