As the Milwaukee Brewers continue to search for their primary 2014 first baseman, I would like to, one last time, make a suggestion about who I believe could man the position and contribute to the 2014 Brewers.

I believe that Oakland Athletics first baseman Daric Barton would be a good fit for the Brewers and has the ability to contribute, both offensively and defensively, in 2014. The 28 year old first baseman recently avoided arbitration with the A's and is signed for 1.25 million for 2014. He has been designated for assignment twice (3/29/13 and 5/18/13) and I suspect would not be too difficult to acquire. I believe that Barton still has upside and possesses traits which would be valuable to 2014 Brewers; he is a plus defender, he can get on base, and he could be attainable at a reasonable price.

Daric Barton is a plus defender at first base. He has a career 9.4 UZR/150 in 4179.0 career innings. I think Barton would be a good compliment to an otherwise defensively suspect infield, Scooter Gennett (1.4 UZR/150 in 2013), Rickie Weeks (-16.9 UZR/150 in 2013), Jean Segura (-1.1 UZR/150 in 2013), and Aramis Ramirez (-16.0 UZR/150 in 2013).

Daric Barton can also get on base. I will concede that he does not hit for a high average (career .250 hitter) and does not have optimal power for a first baseman (career 1.22 ISO and career 3.72 SLG%), but he does has a low strikeout rate (career 16.5% strikeout rate) and gets on base (career .360 OBP). In 2013, Barton posted a .350 OBP in 120 plate appearances. By comparison, if Barton was to sustain that rate over the course of the season, he would have been slotted between Jon Jay and Chase Utley at 21st overall in the National League.  It's possible Barton's production may spike even higher if he is given a regular opportunity to play as evidenced by his 2010 campaign when he posted a .393 OBP in 686 plate appearances. A similar performance would slot Barton between Freddie Freeman and Matt Carpenter for 7th in the National League in 2013. Finally, Barton would add a, badly needed, left handed back to a right handed heavy line up. If you value Barton's ability to get on base, it seems as if he would be able to contribute to the Brewers offense in 2014.

Finally and perhaps most importantly, Barton may be available and his price will most likely not be too high. Oakland already has Brandon Moss penciled in at first base and Josh Reddick at DH. They may want to keep Barton for depth but they also have the option to use Nate Freiman at first base and a host of extra outfielders to use at DH. I suspect Barton could be had for a mediocre or mid level prospect or a relief arm to continue to support Billy Bean and Co. in strengthening their bullpen. 

In conclusion, I think that, although he is not a flashy acquisition, I think that Daric Barton could be a low risk high upside acquisition that could add to the 2014 Milwaukee Brewers. If the Brewers are not going to make a large splash at first base, I would like to sign them bring in players like Barton and hopefully catch some upside at first base. 



01/03/2014 12:51pm

Yes - Please take Barton!! (oh and Reddick won't be the A's DH - he'll be in right field.)

01/03/2014 2:37pm

Please take Barton. As an A's fan, I can't stand that guy. Always has had a ton of potential (according to Billy Beane), but he's never panned out. Offer us a bag of balls and free soda for the vending machine - we'll take it!

Sports Enthusiast
01/03/2014 11:16pm

If there is anybody that shares your view about Daric Barton, his name is unfortunately Billy Beane. There's just nobody that Barton is worth that Beane would trade Barton for, in my opinion.


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