The decisions regarding two of the Milwaukee Brewers outfielders are final. To no surprise, Jackie Bradley Jr has picked up his player option while Avisail Garcia has declined his mutual option.
JBJ will pick up his $9.5M player option and remain a Brewer for 2022. He is a Gold Glove finalist but had an uncharacteristically rough year at the plate.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 3, 2021
Avisail Garcia has opted out of his Brewers deal. Had very good year, not a surprise. Free agent OF market growing stronger almost by the hour.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 4, 2021
Despite being a gold glove finalist, 2021 was a disappointing season for Bradley Jr. He finished the year with a dismal .163/.236/.261/.497 slash line. His OPS+ was just 34, he hit six home runs, and drove in 29 batters. Given how poor he performed, opting out of his contract for 2022 would have made no sense.
On the other hand, Avisail Garcia had a career year. His final line was .262/.330/.490/.820 with a 117 OPS+. He set new career highs in home runs (29), RBIs (86), and walks (38). His mutual option for 2022 was for $12MM. Given his performance in 2021, he will be looking for a deal with an average annual value higher than this.
Despite declining the mutual option, Garcia could still return to the Brewers. They could decide to give him a qualifying offer of $18.4MM or he could sign a new multi-year deal with the Crew as a free agent. There is a lot of money invested in this group already, so the odds of Garcia returning do not seem likely.
If Garcia does not return, the Brewers will have an outfield of Christian Yelich, Lorenzo Cain, Bradley Jr, and Tyrone Taylor. As a whole, this group underperformed in 2021. That puts the Brewers outfield in an interesting spot this off-season, so it will be interesting to see what happens.