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Brewers Trade Chris Dickerson to Yankees for Sergio Mitre

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Tom Haudricourt is reporting the Brewers have sent Chris Dickerson to New York in exchange for Sergio Mitre this morning. Mitre is 30 years old and has spent the last two seasons in New York, posting a 5.03 ERA in 39 appearances (12 starts). He's made five appearances (two starts) for the Yankees this spring, posting a 5.73 ERA with a walk and eight strikeouts in 11 innings. He'll also likely be eligible for free agency following the season.

When I started writing this evaluation, I was operating under the assumption that the Brewers weren't going to be sending much in exchange for Mitre - maybe cash or a low level prospect. Dealing away Chris Dickerson, their primary alternative to Carlos Gomez in center field, changes my perspective a bit.

To understand why it makes sense to get Mitre, I think you need to look a little closer at the hole the Brewers were looking to fill. Unless Zack Greinke's absence stretches into May, the fifth starter vacancy is only going to exist for roughly 2-3 starts. As long as something unforeseen doesn't happen before Greinke's return, when he comes back the rotation is full and anyone the Brewers acquired to fill the spot likely would have been out of a job.

As such, it makes sense to acquire someone with some experience as a reliever, so he'll have a role to fall back on once he's served his purpose in the rotation. Mitre had a 2.45 ERA in 24 appearances as a reliever last season. It's possible that he could slot into a late inning-middle relief role.

With that said, trading away a moderately capable fourth outfielder for a guy who is primarily a stopgap seems like a pretty significant overpayment. Dickerson struggled in a small sample size with the Brewers last season but is still a career .257/.356/.403 hitter and a plus defender in all three outfield spots. The decision to trade him away must mean the Brewers feel pretty strongly about the abilities of guys like Jeremy Reed and Brandon Boggs, who both now appear likely to make the Opening Day roster.

Dickerson was acquired in the Jim Edmonds deal last season. Thinking of this deal as a trade of Jim Edmonds for Sergio Mitre makes me feel a little better about it.