Posted by Steve
We’re about 24 hours from MLB’s trade deadline, and save for a nice flip of KROD for 3B Nicky Delmonico, things have been silent for the Brewers. Despite having several trade candidates, it’s looking more and more like the Brewers will have an inexplicably quiet trade deadline.
Let’s take a look at a few of those candidates, in the order of how necessary it is to trade them.
Aoki is a solid lead-off hitter and right fielder, which equates to a fairly valuable player. Problem is, he is 31 years old, which means he’s not a piece for the Brewers to keep around long-term. Making this even more of a no-brainer is the recent clarification that Aoki is actually a free agent after next season.
There is absolutely no excuse not to trade Aoki, which is why this quote from Doug Melvin makes me want to scream:
“We’re not going to move him,” said Melvin. “We have a need for him, too. He only has about $500,000 left on his contract for this year.”
What need, exactly, do you have for him on a last-place team, Doug?
1. If you’re looking toward next year, well, you won’t be a playoff team then, either.
2. We’ve seen enough from Caleb Gindl and Logan Schafer, along with others like Khris Davis and Victor Roach to feel confident in filling right field next year–another rebuilding year.
Not trading Aoki–right now–is simply stupid.
The Brewers have an opportunity to erase the stupidity of forfeiting a first round pick for a player when they weren’t going anywhere. Lohse has been great, but of course, that was never the issue. The issue was that it was obvious the Brewers wouldn’t be good, so his presence makes no difference. Lohse is pitching better than any starter available right now, and he’s got a fairly reasonable contract. There’s no reason to keep him around past this year. They can’t make the same mistake they made last year when they failed to trade Aramis Ramirez when they had the chance (how’s that one looking now?).
The reason I’ve heard for not trading Lohse is, “Well, they need someone to pitch next year!” Yes, but those people are forgetting that for next year, the Brewers will have Gallardo, Peralta, Estrada, Hellweg, Thornburg, Jungmann and Whocarestheyllsuckanyway.
Trade Lohse, get out from under a sizable contract, and recoup the talent you lost by forfeiting a draft pick.
The entire freaking bullpen, save for maybe Jim Henderson
Remember how bad the Brewers’ bullpen was last year? It was terrible, right? Who would have thought it would have been this easy to turn around a bullpen? It was, and there’s no reason Melvin couldn’t make similar moves to acquire bullpen arms this off-season.
Gorzelanny, Gonzalez, Axford, and Badenhop should all go. The Brewers got a nice prospect for Francisco Rodriguez, for God’s sake. Axford should yield more, and he’ll be expensive from here on out anyway. I like him as a player, and he seems pretty cool, but I’ll like him more if he can bring back a nice prospect or two.
Jim Henderson is still cheap, so I can understand keeping him, although he’d also bring back the highest return. Whatever.
Obviously this can’t happen now, but my fingers are crossed for a waiver deal before the end of August. This again just goes to show that it was stupid to not trade A-Ram last year when he was raking. The Brewers were well aware of his age and durability concerns, yet still chose not to cash in during a lost year. Now, if he doesn’t show he’s healthy soon, they may be stuck with him for the duration of the contract.
Yovani Gallardo/Rickie Weeks
I have these two together because they’re in a similar situation: Both have underperformed to the point that the Brewers would be selling very low. With both players, it makes more sense to let them play out the year and hope they improve their performance. In particular, let’s hope that Gallardo’s velocity dip is more of a temporary thing; otherwise his days as a top-of-the-rotation guy are done. That would be a real shame at just 27 years old.
Excuse me while I become ill.
Again, the Brewers absolutely need to get out of the short-term line of thinking. Stop playing for just next year, because then the year after will always be bad. We aren’t talking a four-year plan like what the Astros are currently going through; the Brewers can target guys who are within a year or two from the big leagues.
Unfortunately, I’ll be shocked if they trade more than a reliever or two. Here’s hoping I’m wrong.