Braun, Brinson among Brewers’ questions

MILWAUKEE — Chris Carter is out and Eric Thames is in at first base, and Jonathan Villar appears poised for a shift to second as the Brewers move into 2017, the second full year of their top-down rebuild. Whether Thames can make the jump from Korea back to Major League Baseball, and whether Villar can repeat his breakthrough debut with the Brewers are two factors that will determine the fortunes of the team next season.

Here are five more questions facing the Brewers in the year ahead:

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1. Will Ryan Braun still be a Brewer on Opening Day?

He is their all-time home run leader, their longest-tenured player and by most measures, their best hitter, coming off a healthy season in which he topped 30 home runs for the first time since 2012. Braun also was nearly traded to the Dodgers in August for a package that included energetic outfielder Yasiel Puig, pitcher Brandon McCarthy and prospects, and spoke openly at season’s end about the notion that he might …

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