The Chicago White Sox made a huge free agent splash on Thursday, signing catcher Yasmani Grandal to a four-year, $73 million deal.
It's easy to understand why a small-to-mid market team like the Brewers didn't want to spend big money to keep Grandal. But now that he's officially signed elsewhere, Milwaukee best hope they have a solid backup plan.
With the catcher position being arguably the weakest in baseball in terms of offensive output, there isn't an available player on the market who would represent an upgrade over Grandal.
As it stands, recently re-signed backstop Manny Pina is in line to start at catcher for the Brewers, and while he's certainly serviceable, he's still a significant downgrade from Grandal. Some catchers available on the market include Jason Castro, Travis d'Arnaud and Robinson Chirinos among others.
By not re-signing Grandal, the Brewers have opened up some serious cap room, though, and need to capitalize on how whom they dole it out to.
For starters, the Brewers can't allow third baseman Mike Moustakas to leave in free agency. The slugger offers a power bat which the Brew Crew simply can't afford to lose, though he will certainly command a high price.
Secondly, using the $18 million they saved by not re-signing Grandal, Milwaukee has enabled themselves to pursue some high quality arms on the open market. They need to pursue a front-end rotation starter, not someone to fill out the fifth spot of the starting staff. Perhaps Zack Wheeler could be a good fit.
With Milwaukee's championship window about as open as it will ever be, the Brewers need to ensure they make up for the loss of Grandal. Spending big is going to be necessary, and Milwaukee's front office needs to open the wallet in order to improve.