The Brewers are to be praised for investing in the product this offseason. While other teams have slow-played to the point of absurdity, the Brewers -- denizens of one of MLB's smallest markets -- have signed Lorenzo Cain, traded for Christian Yelich, and fortified the pitching staff with a handful of less notable moves.

Milwaukee last season arrived ahead of schedule after a rebuild and emerged as surprise contenders. To owner Mark Attanasio's credit, he and his front office are seizing the moment and positioning the club to contend for seasons to come.

Insofar as that near- to mid-term is concerned, however, the Brewers still have work to do. Specifically, they need free agent right-hander Jake Arrieta.

Know that this is a bit more than idle wishcasting on the team's behalf. Attanasio said after the pricey Cain addition that the team still wanted to fortify the rotation in a notable (and perhaps expensive) way. Teams, even small-market ones, are so overloaded with cash right now that paying the going rates for free agents is more a matter of willingness than capability. So if the Brewers want to whittle away at the distance between themselves and the Cubs atop the NL Central and perhaps distinguish themselves in the NL wild-card fray, adding Arrieta to the fold makes a lot of sense.

First, Arrieta, who'll turn 32 in a few days, is really good. Yes, he's come down from the lofty heights he reached in 2015 when he won the NL Cy Young Award, but he's still been a major asset. Over the last two seasons, Arrieta's made 61 starts and pitched to a 3.30 ERA (129 ERA+) while striking out roughly a batter per inning. As well, he hasn't been on the disabled list since early in the 2014 season (Arrieta's rather famous workout regimen probably has something to do with that). Yes, his velocity was down overall last season, but part of that was by design. As well, Arrieta still missed bats, and he saw an uptick in fastball velo over the final weeks of the regular season. Add it all up, and that's a frontline starting pitcher. That's also exactly what the Brewers need.