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  • TRADE: Brewers Deal Abraham Toro to Athletics for Pitcher Chad Patrick

    Matthew Trueblood

    In a week full of deadlines that will force small moves throughout the league, the Brewers continue to be active. They've traded journeyman infielder Abraham Toro, who was a non-tender candidate, to Oakland, and bolstered their pitching depth.

    Image courtesy of © Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

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    Right-handed hurler Chad Patrick is the return from the A's.

    This is a small deal, but it makes a lot of sense given the Brewers' roster outlook at the moment. Abraham Toro, who will turn 27 next month, came to the Crew alongside Jesse Winker in last fall's Kolten Wong trade with the Mariners. He put up good numbers with (mostly) Triple-A Nashville, and even showed well in very limited chances with the parent club, but the organization never seemed to take him seriously. His defensive chops, once lauded, have gotten less enthusiastic reviews with each passing season, until he's come to be viewed less as a versatile, slick-fielding infielder and more as a bat-first guy.

    Given the solid rookie showing by Andruw Monasterio, the defensive wizardry of Brice Turang, and the acquisition of power-hitting lefty bat Oliver Dunn for the middle infield, Toro was only going to continue being crowded out in 2024. He would have been due somewhere between $1.5 million and $2 million in his second trip through arbitration, and the Brewers chose to make a move to improve their pitching depth instead of paying that money.

    Patrick, 25, is a nice insurance policy for the back end of the rotation. Think of him as this year's Janson Junk, who came over for Hunter Renfroe last year around this time. Traded for old friend Jace Peterson at the deadline, Patrick went from the Arizona farm system to Oakland's, and he reached Triple A. However, he's not on the 40-man roster, and won't need to be added to it until next winter--unless, for any of several possible reasons, the Brewers call upon him to provide big-league innings sooner. He doesn't throw exceptionally hard, but his slider-cutter combination is the kind of pairing that figures to miss bats and manage contact reasonably well. Much will depend on his command of those sometimes awkward bedfellows.

    Again, this is a low-wattage move. It's more about aligning resources and roster math than it is a challenge trade or a franchise changer. Yet, it looks like one that could help the Brewers set themselves up for success next season, and it leaves them greater flexibility heading into the non-tender deadline Friday.

    What do you think of this move? Do you have a sense of what it implies about the club's still-uncertain direction for this winter? The stove is lit. Let's bask in its heat.

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    I've never seen Patrick pitch. However, I do know he pitched in two of the highest run-producing Double-A environments. Given he closed his season with a 5-game Triple-A sample, we also have a modicum of data to peruse:


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