Have you ever seen the holiday TV special “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”? Charlie and his friends go trick-or-treating, and after visiting a particular house, the kids stop to compare their hauls. One brags about getting multiple pieces of candy, and another shows off a chocolate bar. Poor Charlie Brown laments that he received a rock in his goodie bag. Unfortunately, the Milwaukee Brewers’ and owner Mark Attanasio’s participation in the recent hot stove activity, or lack thereof, is starting to resemble Charlie Brown’s luck collecting candy.
THE NL CENTRAL IS GETTING STRONGER…
The Brewers’ two strongest and most bitter division rivals are not standing pat. Despite the retirement of catcher Yadier Molina, the St. Louis Cardinals are not rebuilding at that position–they are reloading. The Cardinals signed backstop Willson Contreras to a five-year, $87.5 million contract on December 7th. Not to be outdone, the Chicago Cubs made a splash and inked former MVP Cody Bellinger and proven starting pitcher Jameson Taillon to deals. And, the last-place Pittsburgh Pirates theoretically improved after winning the lottery for the first overall pick in the upcoming MLB draft.
…WHILE THE BREWERS ARE NOT
The biggest news out of the Brewers’ camp during the recent winter meetings was the trades of proven and reliable starters second baseman Kolten Wong, who tallied a 3.1 WAR in 2022, to the Mariners, and Hunter Renfroe, a 2.7 WAR outfielder, to the Angels. In return, Milwaukee received from Seattle Jesse Winker, who hit a dismal .219 last season; Abraham Toro, who hit 30 points below his weight in 2022; and three marginal prospects from Los Angeles, none of whom own a proven track record in the major leagues.
TIME IS RUNNING OUT, MR. ATTANASIO
The longer Mark Attanasio and the Brewers wait to dip their toes into the hot stove waters, the more likely they will strike out landing any sort of impact players. Just like being last in line at the trick-or-treat door, they will receive rocks instead of delicious goodies if this trend continues.