Milwaukee Brewers fans hoping to see shortstop Orlando Arcia in the opening day lineup likely will have to wait until 2017 for that to happen.
Arcia, who was added to the team’s 40-man roster this offseason, could play for the Brewers at some point in 2016, according to general manager David Stearns, but speaking at baseball’s winter meetings in Nashville, Stearns indicated the young shortstop needs a little more seasoning down on the farm before playing for the big club.
"Orlando Arcia is a tremendous prospect, has a little more development to go," Stearns said. "Looking forward to seeing him continue that development in Triple-A this year and whenever he’s ready for the big leagues he’ll be in Milwaukee."
When Arcia does make it to Milwaukee, he figures to bring a dynamic game. Playing for Double-A Biloxi last season — where he was the second-youngest player at that level, having turned 21 in August — Arcia batted .307 with a .453 slugging percentage. He also had 25 steals in 33 attempts.
"He’s a dynamic player," Stearns said. "He’s your true five-tool player. He has the ability and potential to be an impact player. Having said that, he hasn’t played a day above Double-A. So there’s still a long way for him to go to get to the major leagues, establish himself at the major-league level, but he has all the tools and the complete package to be an impact player."
One player who has been rumored to perhaps not be on the opening-day roster — or even on the Brewers roster, period — has been catcher Jonathan Lucroy. Trade talks are prevalent at the winter meetings and Stearns said "a wide swath of our roster has been asked about in various conversations" and Lucroy’s name no doubt was involved in many of those.
"Luc is an incredibly valuable player," Stearns noted. "Ultimately as an organization we need to acquire and obtain as many Jon Lucroy players as we can. Luc is a tremendously valuable player, we know that. Other teams know that as well, so naturally when you have good major-league players other teams are going to call on them."
Stearns did say while he has had a lot of talks and meetings with other teams, the Brewers were "not particularly close to anything" as of Tuesday night. Stearns added "we’re probably spending more time talking about potential trade targets, but we have had conversations with agents as well."
If Milwaukee does make a trade, perhaps it will involve a middle infielder, where the Brewers are flush with prospects.
"We are fortunate that we have a lot of depth in middle infield prospects," Stearns said. "A lot of middle infielders who are plus defenders are rare commodities to find in Major League Baseball, so we if have a little excess in that area that’s a good place to be."