With the conclusion of Wednesday’s GM meetings in Chicago, The Brewers are ready to start getting serious about this years group of free agents. While no deal can be reached with any free agent from another team just yet, Brewers GM Doug Melvin has been talking to agents to get a feel for the market.
As the Brewers move forward in what should be a busy offseason, let's take a look at the fifth biggest question facing the Brewers' management.
Will Milwaukee's sudden youth movement provide a solid replacement for the loss of veteran experience?
Replacing the likes of Mike Cameron, J.J. Hardy, and Jason Kendall will be no easy task. Cameron and Kendall provided a strong veteran presence on the field, and Hardy was as solid a defender as there is.
That said, the Brewers have reason to be excited.
Newly acquired Carlos Gomez will be only 24 years old and shows remarkable speed and solid defense. The question is, will his offense mature enough to be a viable replacement for Cameron?
Catchers Jonathan Lucroy and Angle Solome will both get a shot to make the club next year, and both have looked impressive in the past. Lucroy is coming into the season with the clear edge over Solome. At AA Huntsville he batted .267 with nine home runs in 125 games. Solome had an injury-plagued year, batting .286 with six home runs in 82 games.
Top prospect Alcides Escobar saw playing time with the big league team in 2009 batting .304 with one homerun in 38 games. His speed and defense will make him a fun player to watch for seasons to come.
The Brewers are going to expect a lot from the youngest of this already young team. This group of young players has all the potential that Doug Melvin could hope for.
For the Brewers to be competitive this year they will need that potential to become talent.