Colorado Rockies: Could Milwaukee Brewers non-tenders be a fit for the 2019 roster?

Friday was the non-tender deadline and there were plenty of non-tenders throughout baseball. One team that had multiple non-tenders was the Milwaukee Brewers and they could help the Colorado Rockies in a few different areas.

The Milwaukee Brewers non-tendered three players on Friday evening, including infielder Jonathan Schoop and left-handed relievers Dan Jennings and Xavier Cedeno. All three of them could help the Rockies on the cheap.

Schoop is the most intriguing of the three as he could provide the highest reward but he had the worst season of the three in 2018. In 2018, he was with the Brewers after the Orioles traded him in July and he struggled all season.

He played in 131 games and he hit 21 home runs, 61 RBI, and 22 doubles with an anemic slash line of .233/.266/.416, which amounted to an OPS+ of 85. For comparison, Chris Iannetta had an OPS+ of 85 last year and Ian Desmond‘s was 83.

However, he is only one year removed from a fantastic season. In 2017, he played in 160 games and he had 182 hits, 35 doubles, 32 home runs, 105 RBI, a .293/.338/.503 slash, and an OPS+ of 124. For comparison, Trevor Story‘s OPS+ in 2018 was 127.

Schoop came in 12th in the AL MVP voting and he was also an All-Star.

Since he was non-tendered, he automatically becomes a free agent. For a contract for him, he made $8.5 million. He was projected to make more than $10 million in arbitration, according to MLB Trade Rumors, but considering that he didn’t play well in 2018 and was, essentially, released, he may not be getting much of a raise, if at all. In fact, he could see a pay cut so he may be a cheap option for the Rockies at second base.

Jennings could provide the Rockies with a cheap, reliable, left-handed reliever. In the past four seasons, he has averaged 66 appearances per season with a 3.17 ERA, a 129 ERA+, and a 3.93 FIP. Last season, he had an ERA of 3.22 in 72 games while averaging 3.2 walks and 6.3 strikeouts per nine innings. He is also a groundball pitcher as in the past two seasons, his groundball rate has been between of 56 and 60 percent in each season.

Jennings made $1.4 million this past season and was projected to make $1.6 million in arbitration.

Cedeno’s track record is a bit more spotty due to recent injuries (most notably, to his forearm) but he pitched well in 2018. In 48 games between the White Sox and Brewers, Cedeno had an ERA of 2.43 and a FIP of 2.95 while walking 4.3 batters and striking out 9.2 per nine innings.

The forearm injury caused him to only pitch in 9 games in 2017 but in 2015 and 2016, he averaged 60 games per season with an ERA of 2.99 (134 ERA+), a FIP of 2.97, 2.8 BB/9 innings, and 9.3 Ks/9 innings.

Cedeno made $1.3 million last season and was projected to make $1.5 million in 2019 in arbitration so, like Jennings, he would be another cheap, lefty reliever option.

Next: One of those non-tender targets could be Billy Hamilton

There are plenty of the other players that could help the Rockies for a relatively cheap cost but these three could provide the Rockies with, at minimum, a stop-gap at second base and some bullpen help…some help that they desperately need.