Avisail Garcia has been the Milwaukee Brewers most productive and consistent outfielder during the 2021 season. He is currently the team leader in hits, home runs, and runs batted in. With that being said, he recently surpassed a plate appearance threshold that makes him eligible to elect free agency at the end of this season.
Prior to the 2020 season starting, the Brewers signed Avisail Garcia to a two year $20 MM deal. The contract included details for a third year club option as well listed at $12 MM. However, the option could switch to a mutual option if he logged 1,050 plate appearances. Due to the shortened 2020 season, his projected plate appearance total for that season is 558. He has logged 497 appearances so far in 2021, which puts him well over 1,050.
Now that the Brewers no longer control Avisail Garcia’s fate, it seems very likely that he will elect free agency at seasons end. Entering free agency would allow him the opportunity to receive longer term contract and get paid for his performance.
On the year, Garcia has established new career highs in multiple categories. Those categories are: home runs (29), runs batted in (85), runs scored (67) and is tied for a career high in walks (36). He slash line is a respectable .267/.334/.501/.835. It is fair to say that his poor 2020 season was just an anomaly given the circumstances.
For the Brewers, this puts their outfield in a unique situation. Jackie Bradley Jr controls his own fate and likely will remain a Brewer for the 2022 season. Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich are both under contract for 2022 as well. This gives them a good outfield core assuming Bradley Jr can rebound offensively. Tyrone Taylor has also shown a lot of promise this season that has many fans begging for him to receive more opportunities.
In the minor leagues, Top prospects and former first round draft picks Garrett Mitchell and Sal Frelick are currently making their way through the ranks. This means attempting to lock up Garcia long term might not be the best option. Should the Brewers sign Garcia long term, he may block potential opportunities for both Mitchell and Frelick in the future.
It will be interesting to see how this off-season plays out. Unfortunately, it is just bad luck that the Brewers likely will end up retaining the very unproductive Bradley Jr and parting ways with Garcia.