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5/11 MLBTradeRumors Dissertation on the Brewers Trade Chips

Article basically says that the Brewers don't have much to trade if they refuse to move Lucroy, Segura, or Gomez.


Obviously that could change quickly if Lohse or Ramirez pick things up in the next six weeks.





Trade Candidates: Milwaukee Brewers

By Charlie Wilmoth [May 11, 2015 at 4:52pm CDT]

The Brewers showed signs of life this week, going 4-3 after firing manager Ron Roenicke and replacing him with Craig Counsell. At 11-21, though, they’re already 11 1/2 games back in the NL Central, and unless they can sustain and perhaps even accelerate their turnaround, whispers of a full-scale rebuilding could become a reality. Of course, trading season won’t begin in earnest for another month or so, and it might benefit the Brewers to wait awhile anyway, given how poorly some of their key trading chips have played to this point. But if they do start trading, here’s who they might make available.


Carlos Gomez hasn’t played well so far this season and recently missed a few games with a strained hip, but he’s an extremely valuable trade candidate who ought to return at least one top-100 prospect type and possibly two if he can return and play well over the next couple months. He’s still in his prime, he’s signed to a bargain contract that pays him $8MM this year and $9MM in 2016. He’s so cheap, in fact, that his contract shouldn’t be a significant obstacle for any trading partner, even a team with a low payroll. He’s an excellent hitter, and his terrific defense and good speed insulate him against the possibility of rapid decline. The Brewers should be motivated to deal him if they can’t turn their season around — as Tim Dierkes pointed out last week in an article on the MLBTR Newsletter, it will be easier for them to get good value for Gomez if they deal him now, when he has a year and a half remaining on his contract, rather than waiting for his contract year. A return to the Twins doesn’t seem likely for Gomez, but it might make sense if Minnesota can continue to contend. The Giants or Blue Jays could also be possibilities, although it’s unclear whether San Francisco would have the prospects necessary to make a deal.


The Brewers are not likely to trade Jean Segura or Jonathan Lucroy, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported last week. That they wouldn’t have interest in dealing Segura makes sense, since he’s young and cost-controlled. Lucroy, who is signed through 2016 with a cheap club option for 2017, is another matter, and he and Gomez would represent the Brewers’ best chances of landing the sort of premium young talent they could build around. Given Lucroy’s age (29 in June) and position, the Brewers might not have a better chance to get good value for him than they will this summer, assuming his broken toe has healed by then. Nonetheless, the Brewers feel that the scarcity of good talent up the middle makes it tough for them to trade Lucroy.


First baseman Adam Lind has been easily the Brewers’ best hitter so far, and he’s signed for a reasonable $7.5MM, with an $8MM option or $500K buyout last year. Teams might be reluctant to part with top talent for him, given his defensive limitations and the fact that the Brewers acquired him relatively cheaply this offseason, giving up only swingman Marco Estrada. Looking ahead, Lind could make sense for a team like the Mariners, Marlins or Astros, all of whom have struggled at first base this year.


The trade candidacy of Aramis Ramirez (who’s missed time lately due to back issues) is complicated somewhat by his lackluster start and by his limited no-trade clause. Also, the Brewers would likely have to take on part of Ramirez’s remaining salary, including not only his $14MM this year but the $6MM they still owe him in deferred money. If they were to trade Ramirez, the Giants, who have struggled with Casey McGehee at third, would be an obvious fit.


Gerardo Parra has hit well in recent weeks and is still just two years removed from a 4.5 fWAR season with the Diamondbacks. He isn’t really a plus hitter (he doesn’t walk enough, and his .280/.300/.480 start in 2015 is partially BABIP-driven), and most teams would likely still view him as a reserve. But he’s a good one, particularly given his strong defense. He’ll be a free agent after the season.


Ryan Braun‘s contract will likely be difficult to move unless the Brewers want to package him with an asset like Lucroy or Gomez (although Braun would be much more intriguing as an upside play than the typical player who has an albatross contract). He has over $100MM remaining on his current extension (which technically hasn’t even kicked in yet, although the Brewers have paid his signing bonus). That’s a lot for a 31-year-old who hasn’t produced a 2 WAR season since 2012. Braun needs to hit very well to have much value, since he isn’t a good defender. That won’t be lost on most teams who would otherwise consider dealing for him.


It’s possible the Brewers could consider trading Khris Davis or Scooter Gennett, but it’s hard to see the urgency, given that they’re cost-controlled and relatively young starting position players. The Angels would be one possibility if the Brewers were to deal Gennett.


It will be difficult for the Brewers to find attractive trades involving their starting pitchers (unless they want to deal Jimmy Nelson, which isn’t likely, since Nelson could easily be part of the next contending Brewers team). Kyle Lohse will be a free agent after the season, but he’s in the midst of a miserable year and wouldn’t be a very inspiring addition for a contender, even though his peripherals suggest he’s been better this season than his ERA indicates. Perhaps the injury-wracked Dodgers could be a fit, as Heyman recently suggested. (Heyman also mentioned the Cardinals and Astros.) Matt Garza isn’t cheap and has just a 1.5 K/BB ratio this year.


Mike Fiers and Wily Peralta are somewhat more interesting as under-the-radar types. It’s unclear whether the Brewers would want to deal them, however, since they have plenty of years of control remaining. Which is a shame, since Fiers, in particular, would be a fascinating trade candidate if Milwaukee were to put him on the market. He’ll be 30 in June, but he’s controllable through 2019; he’s striking out a ridiculous 12.7 batters per nine innings this year, but he has a 5.46 ERA, due in part to a HR/FB rate of 18.8%. It would be interesting to see how other teams valued him.


The Brewers do have some interesting trade candidates in their bullpen. The problem, of course, is that it’s very hard to get potential building blocks when trading relievers. An excellent season from Francisco Rodriguez is mostly being wasted on a team that’s giving him few save opportunities. The Blue Jays or Marlins could be interesting trade fits, although the list of potential suitors for Rodriguez could change dramatically over the next couple months. Lefty Will Smith is in the midst of a third consecutive good season; he’s controllable through 2019, so there’s no pressing reason for the Brewers to deal him, although they might do fairly well if they did. Neal Cotts is a competent lefty signed to a one-year deal, but he wouldn’t fetch much. Jonathan Broxton‘s contract continues to outstrip his production, although his solid peripherals this season mark him as an interesting flyer for a team potentially willing to take on a few million dollars in salary.

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I think Gomez can certainly get more than one top 100 type player. Samardzija netted a top 10 player, and Gomez is produced much better numbers (if looking at WAR) than Samardzija.


I question whether Fiers would generate much interest. He's crazy erratic - I just don't see a contender counting on him being an upgrade.

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MLBTR's "editorial" content is generally very shoddy. I'm not saying Lohse or Garza are amazing trade chips, but if a team pursues them it's going to be because of their talent and not their first handful of starts in 2015. I think both could return decent B-level prospects.
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30? That's too young for us.
"This is a very simple game. You throw the ball, you catch the ball, you hit the ball. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains." Think about that for a while.
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I found this article nauseating, like vultures surrounding a carcass. I know MLBtraderumors needs content but it's silly to speculate in the middle of May. Again, it's too early to write off this season but more importantly is the outlook for 2016 equally as bleak with a returning core of Lucroy, Lind, Segura, Davis, Gomez, Braun, Peralta, Garza, Nelson, and K-Rod and $40 million lopped off the salary by departures of Ramirez, Lohse, Broxton, and Parra? Seems to be they are poised to go into 2016 with a significantly better roster than the one that broke camp this year.


Who knows how long it will be before this franchise has any hope if they do a complete rebuild especially if they are just settling for 2nd tier prospects in return? As it is, they have the makings of a team that could contend in 2016 with a couple key additions to the pitching staff (an upgrade over Lohse, better bullpen depth, maybe a solid 3B)


I know a lot of posters have this fantasy of building this minor league system into one that's overflowing with talent. Nice thought but many of those guys wash out before making any impact and the major league club still has to play games every year and they'll lose fans in a market that needs every one.


That's not to say they shouldn't always explore deals. Not sure if any of the guys with deal expiring can be moved, but even if the team comes to life and gets to edges of the race by July, if anyone calls on Lohse, A-Ram, Broxton, or Parra, they should listen. If an offer comes for Gomez that can't be refused, by all means, but remember, if he's kept for the duration of the deal, at worst he'll bring back a pick. Segura is the other guy from the core who could be dealt for some return because there are nearly ready SS behind him. But why entertain dealing Lind for instance? First base has been an issue since Fielder left. Lind is still relatively cheap for next year, and he's a guy who might be open to a reasonably affordable extension.

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I question whether Fiers would generate much interest. He's crazy erratic - I just don't see a contender counting on him being an upgrade.

We have to remember that The Keg is one of the most hitter & HR friendly parks in baseball. I read something last year that ranked it as the second least pitcher-friendly park. Put Fiers in a park that supresses HRs - San Diego, Seattle, NY Mets, Dodger Stadium, San Francisco - and some of those HRs turn into deep fly ball outs, and his numbers get even better.


His walks, hits, HRs, and ERA is up this year, but his FIP is 3.90 and his xFIP is 3.30. And he currently leads the league in K/9.

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Miller Park is overall pretty neutral and has been for quite a while. It was the 9th highest HR park. It is very low for all other hits. Bottom 3-4.

Fan is short for fanatic.

I blame Wang.

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if anyone calls on Lohse, A-Ram, Broxton, or Parra, they should listen


If anyone calls on Broxton, they should immediately lose their job. If they call on Lohse or Ramirez, it's to see if the Brewers are willing to hand them over for nothing in order to save $1-2MM.


Again, it's too early to write off this season but more importantly is the outlook for 2016 equally as bleak with a returning core of Lucroy, Lind, Segura, Davis, Gomez, Braun, Peralta, Garza, Nelson, and K-Rod and $40 million lopped off the salary by departures of Ramirez, Lohse, Broxton, and Parra? Seems to be they are poised to go into 2016 with a significantly better roster than the one that broke camp this year.


I wouldn't say "significantly better," but then they lose Gomez for nothing, and have lost a significant amount of Lucroy's trade value. The main reason for hopes of a sell-off this year is that we actually have trade chips. If we hold out, we won't have anything worth trading to restock the system, so instead of a rebuild that hopefully only lasts a couple of season, we're in for a decade of horror. I don't think we have the prospects to make up for the losses of Gomez and Lucroy over the next couple of years, added to Braun a couple more years into his 30's.


So, are our chances for a championship so great next year that we accept one more year of Gomez instead of trading him for probably 6 years each of two Top 100 prospects? There's probably no chance Lucroy gets dealt, and even though we have a couple of SS in waiting, Segura is probably not going anywhere. Really, the "fire sale" being discussed is likely to be the schmoes mentioned in your quote above plus Gomez. But, that one trade of Gomez could do a heck of a lot for the team's future.

"The most successful (people) know that performance over the long haul is what counts. If you can seize the day, great. But never forget that there are days yet to come."


~Bill Walsh

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