The Brewers avoided the Monday blues this week when they signed free agent right fielder, Avisail Garcia, to a two-year, $20 million dollar contract. The 6’4” 250 pound outfielder is coming off one of his best seasons as a pro. Last year with the Tampa Bay Rays, Garcia hit a career high 20 home runs, had 72 RBIs, and also added 25 doubles while batting .282. He was a consistent right handed bat that was staple in Tampa Bay’s lineup all season.
Avisail Garcia’s best season came just two years ago when he made his first and only All-Star team. In that season, Garcia had a remarkable batting average of .330 with an OPS+ of 138. He also added 18 home runs and 80 RBIs in 136 games. Even though Garcia has never duplicated the same dominant success at the plate as he had in 2017, that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been a very productive outfielder. Since 2015, Garcia has averaged about 16 homers per season, 62 RBIs, and 20 doubles all while batting .273 with an OPS+ of 106. Now, these numbers don’t jump off the page but they show that the Brewers found themselves an everyday player that they will be able to rely on, night in and night out.
The most asked question amongst Brewer fans when the team signed Garcia was, where is he going to play? Obviously, right field is taken by one of the best players in baseball so where does that put Garcia? In the past, Garcia has shown the ability to play center field as well as right. Although, I don’t think the Brewers signed Garcia to a $20 million dollar deal to be a backup outfielder. If I were the Brewers, I would put Avisail at first base and have him learn a new position. It happens often where a team will play a right fielder at first base or vice versa because it is the most seamless position change in baseball. However, what I think is more likely to happen is the Brewers move Garcia, or Yelich, to left field and have Ryan Braun take over the main duties at first base.
Personally, I love the Avisail Garcia signing for the Brewers. Yet again, David Stearns has signed a player for a competitive price who could be huge for the team down the stretch. This is “moneyball” at its finest. Garcia will add consistency to a Brewers lineup who will be looking to get production out of everybody after the departures of Grandal and Moustakas this offseason.