The Milwaukee Brewers prioritized signing Corey Hart this offseason but now with both Hart and one of their backup plans in Logan Morrison with the Seattle Mariners the Brewers are in need of a first baseman. The market for first basemen is fairly limited in free agency and the trade market doesn’t have a ton of impact players either. However, there are options for the Brewers, as long as they can obtain a player at a price they are willing to pay.
So far, the team has been linked to the New York Mets’ Ike Davis in trade talks and the Brewers in talks with free agent James Loney. Davis might make the most sense. The Mets appear willing to move from Davis and he does have some power and a couple of nice seasons under his belt. The Mets are content to enter the season with Lucas Duda at first and the asking price shouldn’t be prohibitive in terms of prospects.
The Brewers, however, seem to be leaning towards the free agent market to obtain their first baseman. Loney is asking for three years or more and could price himself out of the Brewers’ price range with the Tampa Bay Rays and Pittsburgh Pirates also bidding for his services.
Kendrys Morales is available but he comes tied to draft pick compensation and will likely be seeking more than Loney is this winter. While Morales shouldn’t be counted out he also isn’t likely for the Brew Crew.
Losing Hart hurts the Brewers but they can easily replace him depending on what they are willing to spend in terms of prospects or money. Right now, Ike Davis, or perhaps Justin Smoak of the Mariners who could be without a place to play, makes the most sense.
Davis and Smoak are both young, inexpensive players. Both have failed to live up to expectations with their current teams but still have some promise. Right now, the trade route seems like the best way for the Brewers to find what they are looking for. The question is, can they get something done before another team looking for a first baseman swoops in and grabs their next target?