Watching Brett Lawrie play this series, and having watched Alcides Escobar in the one before last, made me wonder what the team would be like if we didn't make the trades. But then something occurred to me. Without the trades we probably don't have 2008 or 2011. In fact in the 5 years of Prince/Braun combo we had two playoff berths, winning one playoff series, and coming within two wins from the World Series. That doesn't happen without the CC trade, or without getting Greinke/Marcum last year. Some pretty amazing stuff. In fact, ignoring the Cardinals, the Brewers have done more in those five years than many of our NL Central competitors.
Since 1990, the Cubs have the playoffs four times, getting to within a game of the World Series in 2003. Otherwise no wins in the other three NLDS. To put that in perspective, we have as many wins in the playoffs since 1990 as the Cubs do, and all theirs came in 2003.
The Reds, who will probably start to write their new history this year. But since their last World Series win in 1990 have also only made the playoffs twice, and have a grand total of three wins, all in the NLDS win in 1995.
The Astros did incredibly well from 1997-2005. But if you look past the 2004-2005 years, they have very little. Obviously the talent on those 2004-2005 teams is pretty ridiculous if you look at them (Berkman, Biggio, Bagwell, Oswalt, Pettitte, Clemens, Lidge).
So while it would be nice to still have Michael Brantely, Brett Lawrie, Alcides Escobar, and maybe even LaPorta or Cain, it is great we had a GM willing to give up something to get something. I don't know when the Brewers will make the playoffs again, but at least we can look back and realize that they did go for it gave us great memories in the process.