Chicago Cubs: Change is coming – and the NL Central is ready to battle

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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: Will Milwaukee finally address their pitching staff?

The Milwaukee Brewers finished off the season by losing in the Wild Card game to the Washington Nationals in heartbreaking fashion. Milwaukee over the last two years has relied heavily on the bullpen to eat innings and hold leads because of how underwhelming their starting rotation is. Because of the highly-powered offense and second half effectiveness of the bullpen, the brew crew were able to reach the Wild Card game.

An offense led by potential back-to-back MVP award winner Christian Yelich is the reason for the Brewers’ success. The club’s top priority should be locking down some help in the starting rotation and solidify some offensive weapons long-term.

The first player to look at is Yasmani Grandal. The Brewers catcher was a main source of offense following Yelich’s season ending injury and has a $16 million mutual option with the club in 2020. Grandal is an above-average talent at the catcher position and comes with a lot of pop. He has experience in the postseason with both the Dodgers and the Brewers in recent seasons and would likely be a great guy to lock up over his next five seasons.

Mike Moustakas is another name the Brewers should really go after and try to extend. Moustakas is also a guy loaded with power and can hold various positions around the field, logging innings at both second and third base. With 35 long balls and a .845 OPS, Moustakas is someone who brings experience to a team that may need it during the tough September and October months.

The Milwaukee spotlight is very much pointed at Josh Hader. The flame-throwing southpaw has carried this bullpen for the last two seasons and has really not shown too many signs of fatigue for how heavy his workload has been. Hader is a pre-arbitration player so the Brewers have cheap control over the filthy relief man. I look to see if he can continue to assume this heavy role and pitch to the levels fans have come to expect.

I like the Brew Crew’s chances to be right back in the wild card game and finish second in the NL Central. Their offense is explosive and are a few moves in the rotation away from being a legitimate force in the league.