Posted by Steve
Immediately after the game on Tuesday, the Brewers traded Gabe Gross for minor league pitcher Josh Butler. I didn’t know much about Butler, so I probably can’t comment on whether the Brewers’ got fair value for Gross, but they probably did. After skimming over some numbers, Butler seems to be a big guy with a nice sinker who gets ground balls. He’s 23.
As for losing Gross, well, it frustrates me quite a bit. The Brewers traded a good fourth outfielder for a minor league pitcher and downgraded their MLB squad in a year where they are trying to make the playoffs. This is not likely to make a big difference if nobody gets hurt, but the Brewers could be in a lot of trouble if one of Braun, Cameron or Hart goes down for a significant amount of time. Gross offensively brings things the Brewers need more of: patience, power off the bench and left-handedness. Tony Gwynn Jr., his replacement, only brings upgrades over Gross in defense and speed (rather than, like, hitting), and if he needs to play full time the Brewers’ offense will take a hit–see here.
Melvin admitted that acquiring Butler helps replenish the system of minor league pitchers after trading for Scott Linebrink last year, but isn’t that what their compensation picks for Linebrink and Cordero are for? Why give up a solid bench player when you’re trying to contend?