Milwaukee Brewers: What we found out during the Winter Meetings

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 03: Alex Claudio #58 of the Texas Rangers pitches in the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Globe Life Park in Arlington on September 3, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 03: Alex Claudio #58 of the Texas Rangers pitches in the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Globe Life Park in Arlington on September 3, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images) /

The winter meetings were quiet for the Milwaukee Brewers, but they did gain a new pitcher and have made ground in talks throughout this week.

For the past four days, owners, general managers, managers and more were in Las Vegas, Nevada for the Winter Meetings. There were a lot of moves and lot of rumors throughout baseball, but the Milwaukee Brewers were a little quiet.

Going into the meetings, fans wanted moves to be made. They wanted David Stearns to make that big deal or sign that big-name player to fill one of their open spots, but that wasn’t really the case this year. There was a move made, but what got people excited were the rumors that were swirling all over Twitter.

The One Move

On the last day of the meetings, Stearns decided to make a good under the radar move. The Brewers acquired left-handed relief pitcher Alex Claudio from the Rangers for a Round A competitive pick. The 36th overall pick to be specific. He had an off year last year, but he could make a big impact in the 2019 season coming out of the bullpen.

Claudio is a 26-year-old lefty that throws from a three quarters-sidearm arm slot. He throws a mix of a sinker that sits around the mid-80s, a slider that’s in the mid-70s, and a changeup that’s in the low 70s. He may not throw the hardest, but the movement on his pitches is disgusting.

With Xavier Cedeno and Dan Jennings gone, Claudio adds a lot to that bullpen. He can throw multiple innings and will be a great weapon in matchup situations, and most importantly, he’s another lefty. Great under the radar move by Stearns.

Alex Claudio’s Stats: 2016-2018

2016: 4-1/2.79 ERA/51.2 IP/34 K/.177 OPP AVG vs Lefties

2017: 4-2/11 SV/2.50 ERA/82.2 IP/56 K/.147 OPP AVG vs Lefties

2018: 4-2/1 SV/4.48 ERA/68.1 IP/41 K


The thing that got fans most excited were the rumors. Writers like Ken Rosenthal, Jon Heyman, and the Brewers’ own Adam McCalvy and Tom Haudricourt were giving us up to date news and gave us a lot of things to think about when it comes to players joining Milwaukee.

The biggest news that came out involved catcher Wilson Ramos. Ramos is a free agent this offseason and is trying to find the next team he wants to play for. It was reported that the All-Star catcher met with the Brewers and several other teams during the meetings. He would add average to below average defense, but his big bat would make up for it.

Other news was with the second base position. After Jonathan Schoop was non-tendered, that left Hernan Perez and Tyler Saladino as the only potential second basemen. This seems unlikely that it will stay like this for the whole season and Stearns is already looking at candidates. The goal is to find a guy that could play the second base position until top prospect Keston Hiura is up and ready to start. And during the meetings, it was discovered that two guys are on their radar so far. Daniel Murphy and Ian Kinsler.

Kinsler and Murphy are sort of opposites. The two of them are both veterans, but their skill sets are a lot different.  Kinsler only plays second base, is a great defender, but his hitting has been below average for the past few years.  Murphy is a lefty, solid hitter (but can’t lefties), can play multiple infield positions, but his defense has been mediocre. Stearns says they will be patient when it comes to the second base position, but it will be interesting to see who will start Opening Day.


Throughout this week, there have been a lot of press conferences and interviews with Stearns and manager Craig Counsell. Counsell didn’t give much information, but was good to hear from. And like Stearns always does, he kept things on the down low. On MLB Network a few days ago he said he likes “laying in the weeds.”

During his interviews, he gave us some interesting information when it came to free agency and the trade market. One of the biggest things he said wasn’t a hint or rumor, but more of a compliment.

Stearns also talked about that they may not make any big moves, but he was really pushing that they have gained a lot of ground. Sadly he wasn’t specific when it came to who it was for and what team it may be with. Throughout the winter meetings, he didn’t want to give anything away and that’s a good thing and a bad thing. The good part is that it will be a surprise, but the downside is, deep down we want to know what he’s going to do.

More that came out involved the possible banning of the shift. Brewers are known to be a strategic team that really gets into stuff like that and when Stearns and Counsell heard the news about this, let’s just say they didn’t agree with the possible rule change. Both of them thought the rule wasn’t going to go through.

Another big question is the starting rotation and the young pitchers who may join the rotation. There are a lot of candidates and there only five guys who can take those spots. Stearns was asked about what the situation will be like when it comes to the young pitchers coming in and he gave an interesting answer and it seems like the Brewers are going to stick with the openers and rely on the bullpen, which is what they did in September and during the playoffs last season.

Next. Dairyland Talk: Brewers and winter meetings. dark


It was good to see Slinging Stearns make a move, even if it wasn’t a huge deal. It was also nice to hear about news, moves, and rumors in general. This offseason is long and it will hopefully go by fast.

Just remember….pitchers and catchers report on February 13th.