The Milwaukee Brewers continue to fend off opponents from atop the NL Central, something they have done since Opening Day. However, the lead continues to get smaller as the race for the division gets more intense. The Brewers know that in order to win the NL Central for only the second time in franchise history they must be sound at every position. Unfortunately, Milwaukee recently missed out on an opportunity to upgrade first base with one of the best in the business, which certainly dampers the mood.
The Brewers won the claim on Justin Morneau, but unfortunately, the Colorado Rockiesrejected Milwaukee’s offer of unknown players. The reason this is so significant is because Morneau is currently the National League batting leader with a .317 average. Clearly, acquiring him would have been a huge upgrade over Mark Reynolds and Lyle Overbay, which could have been exactly what the team needed to increase separation from the St. Louis Cardinals in the division.
This is not to say that Reynolds and Overbay have been bad this season. Reynolds leads the team with 21 home runs and his defense at first base has been outstanding. Meanwhile, Overbay has been a force to be reckoned with off the bench, as he’s by far Milwaukee’s best pinch-hitter. The issue is Reynolds is batting .201 and Overbay is hitting .247. Even though both players help the team in other areas, the batting average is something that has to be improved in September and beyond.
Morneau is owed $6.75 million in 2015. Considering his league-leading batting average, 14 home runs and 69 RBI, he’s worth the acquisition. Plus, the Brewers would have had a solid first baseman for next year.