The Cubs are just beginning to reap the rewards of their rebuild strategy. A lot of the focus among fans was their "tank for draft picks" tactics. It was quite success of course as it allowed them to draft the likes of Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber. But let's not forget how successful their "sign and trade" tactic worked. Most notably they traded Scott Feldman and Steve Clevenger for Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop. Of course not every trade is going to work out as well but you can't win a trade if you don't try.
The Brewers are in a bit of a unique position because their rotation is a lot more set than most rebuilding clubs. It's going to be more difficult finding room in the rotation for a Scott Feldman type when you have Jimmy Nelson, Wily Peralta, Taylor Jungmann, and Matt Garza all guaranteed rotation spots. Then you have Zach Davies with nothing left to prove in the minors.
However rebuilding isn't just about giving young guys their time. Truthfully it's really not about that at all. It's in the name: Rebuilding. It's about getting better for the future when you can make a run. It's best for Zach Davies' career for him to jump right into that rotation last rotation spot. He's ready for it. But it might actually be in the Brewers best interest to give that spot to a Scott Feldman type pitcher that can hopefully be flipped at the deadline for prospects.
To that end I suggest the Brewers consider Brandon Beachy. He was once a highly thought of prospect that turned in some quality innings at the major league level. Unfortunately as is sometimes the case with pitchers he's struggled with pretty significant injuries. In fact he's had Tommy John surgery twice. Once is a big deal but the recovery rates give a pitcher a pretty good chance at return. The second time around the prognosis isn't as cheery.
But he did start to make something of a comeback with the Dodgers last year. They signed him to a 1 year deal worth $2.8 million with a team option worth $3 million. Because of his recovery timetable he wasn't ready to return to action until June. He threw 47 innings in the minors and just 8 innings at the major league level. It should be no surprise he wasn't entirely effective but it's hard to know what that means for him going forward as we're dealing with a very small number of innings, especially at the major league level.
There is a silver lining--for the club that signs him that is. He's going to come very cheap again this year. Though his returning at all is less of question than it once was. I think he can probably get a slightly better deal but I'd be shocked if he signed for more than one guaranteed year at a dollar above $5 million. That's right in the wheelhouse of a rebuilding team like the Brewers.
A healthy Beachy could still have the stuff to return to mid-rotation caliber. If that comes to fruition a mid-rotation starter on a one year deal worth a pro-rated portion of approximately $5 million will be highly sought after at the trade deadline. This is essentially what the Cubs did with Scott Feldman--though he didn't have quite the same injury concerns.
This is one of those moves that wouldn't to excite Brewers fans. But it could pay dividends at the trade deadline if everything works out. If it doesn't then the Brewers are only out a comparatively small amount of money. It's not like that money is going to be used for anything else right now.