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Saturday, October 05, 2019

Brewers GM makes bringing back Grandal, Moustakas a priority

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Milwaukee Brewers are hoping Yasmani Grandal and Mike Moustakas will be back next season after the team made back-to-back playoff appearances for just the second time in franchise history.

Grandal and Moustakas have mutual contract options. Grandal, who led NL catchers with 28 homers, is likely to decline his $16 million option, and Moustakas could be a free agent for the third straight offseason if either side declines the infielder’s $11 million option.

“I don’t think it’s particularly controversial that I’d love to have both of them back,” Brewers general manager David Stearns said Friday. “They are two very good players that fit with our organization and our team very well. Whether the realities of the free agent market permit that is something we will have to evaluate as we go through the offseason.”

Milwaukee finished second in the NL Central this year with an 89-73 record. The Brewers played the last part of the season without slugger Christian Yelich, who broke his right kneecap Sept. 10.

The sound you here is a certain regular getting rather excited…..

 

QLE Posted: October 05, 2019 at 12:32 AM | 2 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: brewers, mike moustakas, yasmani grandal

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   1. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 05, 2019 at 02:14 PM (#5886824)
Aside from Yelich, Grandal was the single most important everyday player on that team this year. The Brewers need him — as do about 24 other teams. Grandal will get the multi-year this winter that he wanted last winter.
   2. Walt Davis Posted: October 05, 2019 at 11:09 PM (#5886988)
Has anybody ever done a story on what Moose did to become a solid hitter? Through age 25 (2000 PA), he had a 236 BA, few walks, little power, 82 OPS+. He didn't become JDM or anything but he raised his BA by 30 points, his ISO by about 100 points.

Looks like some of it was about launch angle but probably about lowering it. He use to hit about 8% HR/FB with 22% IF/FB (pop-ups); that's shifted to about 14% HR and 18% IF. Just curious if this was knowing intent (working on launch angle), something that resulted from more generic hitting work or does he just credit "experience"?

Anyway, he's a couple years younger than I thought so I can certainly see 2 years and maybe 3 at something in the $12-14 range ... similar to what Daniel Murphy got at the same ages.

Grandal is a tougher one to assess. A lot depends on his defense -- Rfield hated it this year but has been OK with it in the past and of course Rfield doesn't include framing. He's turning 31 so whether he can be average defensively plays a big role, especially in terms of contract length. A long-term contract for a C like Molina is a lot less risky since you figure the downside is you have a solid defensive player who's offensively about average for his position if the bat fades. If you think Grandal is going to be handing back a win per year on defense, he has only short-term value as an excellent-hitting C.

Like a lot of Cs, he's a bit of a late-bloomer and hasn't been used heavily in his prime -- just under 700 games started at C and this is the first year he's even cracked 115. P-I doesn't let you do position searches based on starts but it does on games. Expansion-era Cs with a roughly similar number of games, about the same WAR and that WAR not too heavily based on defense (Grandal's dWAR is 2.3, WAR around 16). [To be clear, Fisk is the king of Cs not used heavily through 30 but he was already at 35 WAR, way ahead of Grandal) ... here's what I turned up:

VMart 21 WAR, 0 dWAR
Lucroy 19 WAR, 5 dWAR
Haller 19 WAR, 5 dWAR
Downing 18 WAR, 3 dWAR
Posada 17 WAR, 3 dWAR
Kennedy 17 WAR, 6 dWAR
Lopez 16 WAR, 3 dWAR
Avila 15 WAR, 4 dWAR
Pagliaroni 14 WAR, 4 dWAR (never heard of this guy)
Ellie Rodriguez 13 WAR, 6 dWAR
Montero 13 WAR, 4 dWAR
Fosse 13 WAR, 5 dWAR

There are some nice names here but it's not a promising list. Posada leads the way with 23 WAR from 31-35 and staying at C. Next are Downing 17 and VMart 14 but they had 0 and 138 starts at C after 30. Lopez had 13 WAR, Haller 10 and both stayed at C.

After that,it's 5 WAR or fewer, led by Ramon Hernandez (not on my list above). Ramos is also on this list and put up 2 WAR in his age 31 season.

Looking at Lopez and Haller in more detail since those seem the more realistic positive comps ... Javy was terrible at 31 then, as if he discovered a fountain of youth at 32 (2003), he put up a 169 OPS+ with 43 HR, easily his best season. He put up a 127, then 106, then was not very good in his final season. Haller was very good at 31, average and still a full-time starter at 32, an excellent season as a half-timer (injury or age?) then an average season as the #2 ... then a final poor season as a backup at 35. Both of those guys were still solid at 34 and would justify 4 years for Grandal. Obviously if he ages like Posada, you'd sign him through 34 without thinking about it much.

Could he be the next Downing/VMart? Downing was a pretty similar hitter through 30 (111 OPS+) then got better in his 30s (125 for 31-35). VMart was already at 123 OPS+ through 30; he maintained through 34 (but missed all of 33), had a huge season at 35, cratered at 36, bounced back at 37 then cratered for the final time. So this future for Grandal (114 OPS+ through 30) can't be ruled out.

Now it seems that having limited usage through age 30 didn't really buy this group much in terms of longevity so maybe I should ignore that in making the comps. Doing so brings in a few more guys as sims -- Porter, Kendall, McCann, Steinbach, McCarver and AJP.

Porter -- excellent at 31, average at 32, excellent half-timer at 33, useful backup at 34-35; 9 WAR total
Kendall -- very durable, 10 WAR through 34 but based on vastly improved defense (very odd Rfield numbers)
McCann -- signed his big contract with the Yanks at age 30; 6 WAR 31-35.
Steinbach -- very solid, 12 WAR 31-34 and remained useful; but somewhat limited time (one season over 116 starts)
McCarver -- already just a part-timer
AJP -- durable but not very good from 31-34 before a very good 35 and average 36 seasons; 4 WAR from 31-34

This comps add some meat to the pool -- Porter and Steinbach are nice, reasonable outcomes; Kendall nice but odd; and at least Kendall, McCann and AJP were durable.

That's just a crude look. Some of the guys in that comp group might not belong there because they'd already declined before their age 30 season. But based on that, as an AL team, I would probably be willing to go 3 years (since maybe he can DH if necessary), maybe add an option; in the NL, probably 2 plus an option, maybe 3.

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