Posted by Steve
It may have come later than expected, but we finally have a trade to analyze. The Brewers dealt Jim Edmonds to the Reds for outfielder Chris Dickerson.
Edmonds was the most likely player to be traded out of any Brewer this season. He was on a one-year deal and performed well in a platoon role. At 40 years old, it makes sense to send him to a contender rather than have him (possibly) finish up his career on a bad team. Plus, the Brewers are thankfully committing to playing Lorenzo Cain in center for the rest of the season. There was no reason for them to play Edmonds over Cain at this point.
As far as the trade itself, I’m very pleased with the return. I don’t see how anyone couldn’t be impressed by it, actually. They turned a non-roster Spring Training invite into a Major League outfielder with four remaining years of team control. I’m very surprised the Reds gave up a major-league ready player; I assumed the Brewers would have to take a flyer on some low-level prospect. Dickerson is a talented outfielder who plays all three outfield positions well. He’s a defensive upgrade to Ryan Braun and Corey Hart, and he’s an offensive upgrade to Carlos Gomez. He doesn’t have a ton of pop in his bat, but in parts of three seasons, Dickerson has a .367 on-base percentage. His ability to get on base could allow the Brewers to move Rickie Weeks down in the lineup to a run-producing spot after Prince Fielder is dealt this off-season.
A few random thoughts on this deal: It’s interesting to note that the Brewers seem to have gotten a better return for a 40-year old Jim Edmonds than they did for J.J. Hardy last year. I also chuckle at the thought of Dusty Baker considering Dickerson expendable because he doesn’t value walks. Finally, this trade reminds me very much of the one for Jody Gerut last season. Gerut could have been described in the same way as Dickerson: an outfielder with on-base skills but not much power who can play all three outfield positions. Gerut, to my surprise, has not worked out–I’m guessing his time in Milwaukee has run out. I expect Dickerson to have more success.
This gives the Brewers plenty of options for next season. I’d like to see Lorenzo Cain given every opportunity to be the full time center fielder. Unlike Alcides Escobar or Carlos Gomez, Cain has actually earned that opportunity by hitting in the minors. Gomez has a minor league option left; he should be sent to AAA to play full time. Maybe he’ll actually hit. If not, let him go or just settle on him as a fifth outfielder. An outfield of Braun, Hart, Cain, Dickerson, and Gomez sounds good to me. Dickerson can spell any of the three starters against tough righties. He would also be a good candidate for a semi-regular platoon outfielder should the Brewers choose to move Hart or even Braun to first base.
As far as remaining waiver deals, I would not be surprised to see Craig Counsell traded soon. Like Edmonds, at his advanced age, Counsell has no purpose on a team that’s going nowhere. He has value to a contending team as a utility infielder, and the Brewers should get whatever they can for him.