A Mid-Season Trade that WILL Happen

I understand that it is just Spring Training and that we are a long way off from any speculation of trade deadline talk.  However, there are some performances this spring already making some trades appealing to think about.  We will mock up two possible trade proposals, and one of them will happen.

The Brewers made a multitude of moves this season, however, none of them focused on the starting pitching.  Sorry Josh Tomlin but you are really not a big deal.  The Brewers could still be looking into signing Dallas Keuchel, but that appears unlikely.  Which, to be fair, there are many young arms in the organization existing that could turn into impact arms this season.  No need to spend money on a declining veteran pitcher if you don’t have to.  That being said, halfway through the season if the Brewers are where they think they will be, they will likely be in a close division race.  While there might be young impact arms, one thing they don’t possess is experience in post-season play or big moments.  Literally, every competing team will be looking for starting pitching depth around that time of year.  Here is one option:

MADISON BUMGARNER:

The Brewers were in heated talks regarding a Bumgarner trade earlier in January, but that has since been extinguished.  Okay, no big deal.  In fact, it is better this way.  Hold onto the prospects until we see he is capable of staying healthy.  He is just 29 years old but has thrown less than 130 innings each of the past two seasons following six straight seasons of 200+ innings.  He is coming into Spring Training healthy and appears to be in good shape.  Now, if Mad Bum is pitching an amazing first half, it presents a double-edged sword.  He will cost a pretty penny to acquire, but the Brewers would be getting a front of the rotation ace who, for those who have watched the Giants in the playoffs know, is arguably the best post-season pitcher of all time.  This is something the Brewers really could use if they want to win it all.  So what would the package look like?  I’m thinking something like this:

Brewers receive:                                                Giants receive:

Madison Bumgarner                                        Corey Ray, Aaron Ashby

The Brewers have a ridiculous amount of depth in the outfield which makes giving up Corey Ray something feasible to do.  Ashby is a LHP in Single-A who is a 40 Future Value and has the potential for a plus curveball offering.  Corey Ray will not be too long before he is MLB ready, and as for the Giants outfield, just try naming an outfielder of theirs.  You probably can’t because they are all irrelevant.  The Brewers would get a pitcher who has pitched 102 post-season innings with a 2.11 ERA, .899 WHIP, and a 2.74 Win Probability Added in that time.  Oh yeah and he possesses three World Series rings.  The Brewers may have to give up a lot, but its all worth it for a championship.

Zack Greinke:

Greinke is a bit older than Mad Bum as he is going into his age 35 season.  Greinke has also had post-season experience with the D-backs and Brewers, but not to the extent of Mad Bum.  For being 35, Greinke has remained, for the most part, healthy and consistent.  His ERA last season was 3.21 and in 2017 it was 3.20 while his FIPs remained in the mid-3s.  His K% has gone down slightly, but so has his BB%.  It is risky to take on an older player, but he seems to be aging quite well.  While his velocity has continued to drop each of the past four seasons, he continues to perform the same.  Greinke never had an over-powering fastball which has made it easier for him to learn to pitch without it.  Over the seasons he has used his Changeup and Slider about 40% of the time and keeps hitters guessing.  In addition, he has historically played well in Milwaukee throughout his years as a Brewer in 2011 and 2012, as well as being an opponent.  Over his career, he has a 3.32 ERA at Miller Park.  What would a trade look like for him?

Brewers receive:                                                              D-Backs receive:

Zack Greinke                                                                   Corey Ray

I think this could just be a one for one deal.  While Greinke is signed through 2021 the Brewers would pay his salary of $35 million each of the next two seasons.  Again, the Brewers’ depth in the outfield allows them flexibility in trading Corey Ray.  Meanwhile, the D-backs are in a rebuilding situation and also would be in the market for trading Robbie Ray.  In this deal, the D-backs will be able to get rid of Greinke’s payroll each of the following two seasons and they will get a young outfielder in what is a depleted outfield in Arizona.  The Brewers take a risk here on an aging pitcher, but as mentioned earlier, he has shown consistency despite velocity dips and feels comfortable in a Brewers uniform.

Each of these trades has its benefits and downfalls, however, if the Brewers really want to make a run at a championship, they will need to pay a price to upgrade at a weak position.  Some young starters in the organization might provide some relief, but given the uncertain recovery of Jimmy Nelson, a true ace will be needed.

 

Agree? Disagree?  Leave your comment below or follow the discussion on the Facebook page!  “Like” our page and get up to date coverage and information on upcoming events!

3 thoughts on “A Mid-Season Trade that WILL Happen

  1. I firmly, and politely disagree.
    Your suppositions are built upon some gross conceptual errors (yes, plural):
    1) The Brewers are deep in the outfield. No, they are not. We’ve lost Brett Phillips, Keon Broxton, and Domingo Santana in the last year. Outside of Ray (who you seem to wish to trade), the Brewers only have Braun, Yelich, Cain, and Ben Gamel who are viable options in the major leagues. To be sure, the top three are really great, but they alone do not constitute DEPTH. Yes, Thames, Spangenberg, and Perez are adequate replacement players – for a short period of time; but NONE of them could be relied upon to play longer term, in the case of a catastrophic injury to one of our pillars in the outfield. We need Ray present, in our system, to supply that depth in case of injury(ies).
    2) The Diamondbacks &/or the Giants will be out of the playoff picture. While this MAY be true, it certainly is no guarantee that they WILL be. It is easy, for instance, to imagine the Giants coming together and playing consistently good baseball through July so that their elimination would be hardly assured. After all, it was only 5 years ago that they won the World Series. As for the Diamondbacks, they made the playoffs two seasons ago, and they were still quite relevant until mid-September last year. To pre-suppose their irrelevance is quite an impressive assumption.
    3) Zach Greinke’s nearly $32 million/year salary being an irrelevancy. This assumption is so shocking it is worth its own bullet-point. His cost alone (for the next two years) is more than the combined totals of what the Brewers are paying Moustakas and Grandal COMBINED. It is hardly an inconsequential amount.

    Lastly, I would like to point-out that Ryan Braun is 35 years old. Yes, he still is a wonderful addition to our lineup. That said, the time is rapidly approaching when we will need a good outfielder to take his place. If not Ray, who do you propose that the Brewers currently have in their farm system that would be able to take Braun’s place … long term?

    1. First off thank you for reading. You have very good points that I have thought about as well. I agree that there could be other players such as Turang to trade. I am pretty confident the Giants will be bad. Heck the Royals won the World Series just 4 years ago and look at them. Teams can turn bad in an instant. You are right, that the outfield depth is not what it was just months ago. However, outfield currently is a strength while starting pitching has the potential to be below average heading into the playoffs. Would it be a good move to trade Ray? No. I don’t think so in the long term. But if you ask Cubs fans if they would trade Gleybar Torres for a few months rental in Chapman, I’m sure that they do not care considering he helped them win a World Series. Sometimes teams have to do what appears to be bad moves but considering the timing sometimes it may be worth addressing a greater weakness. Timing is everything. Joe Flacco does not have the talent to be one of the highest paid QBs in the NFL, but considering he had just won a Super Bowl in the final year of his contract, the Ravens had no choice but to pay him. You are very right in your points! Value-wise long term the Brewers MAY suffer from this. But would anyone really care at the time of Mad Bum doing what he does best in the post-season and eventually a World Series?

  2. I could see the MadBum trade, partly depending on Gamel’s performance and that of OFs in the Brewer’s system such as Taylor and Grisham. The Greinke trade would only happen if the D-backs paid part of his salary, which would presumably require an additional prospect from the Brewers. More likely than either of these, I think, is the Brewers trade for a lesser starter at a lesser price – like Gio Gonzalez last year, and add at least one reliever, like last year. I’m a bit concerned about Jeffress’ current injury plus his poor performance in the playoffs. I wonder if he pitched too many high-stress innings last year.

    However, if they sign Gonzalez or Keuchel to a short-term contract (would be surprised if they sign Keuchel as I assume he will want at least 2 years), they might not trade for starter at the break at all.

Leave a Reply to Brandon A Shafer Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *