Chicago Cubs: Keeping up with the competition in the National League

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs will have their hands full with Milwaukee once again

The Brewers did not have the loudest offseason this winter, but they hardly needed to considering that their core is intact. Most recently, they made the decision to re-sign Mike Moustakas for just $8 million.

The two marquee players that Milwaukee acquired last winter–Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Caincombined for 13.3 fWAR, so they seem to be doing just fine.

However, the Brewers did make a splash in signing former Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal, who ranked second in all WAR behind J.T. Realmuto.

Milwaukee ranked 19th in the league in positional WAR at catcher last season, according to Baseball-Reference. In fact, that was their worst position on the field aside from shortstop, where the Brewers ranked 28th overall.

Not only can Grandal hit (24 homers and a .815 OPS last year), but according to Baseball Prospectus’ pitch-framing metric, Grandal was the best in the league at framing. For a starting rotation that relies on the control of guys like Jhoulys Chacin and Chase Anderson, Grandal will be an absolutely vital component in helping his pitchers control the zone.

But arguably the biggest improvement for the Brewers comes with having gained invaluable postseason experience last season after coming within a single game of reaching the World Series.

The key cogs are all still in place, and the desire to stay on top will undoubtedly be there. Sometimes, keeping it simple is the best solution.