So quite honestly this year's Winter Meetings were kind of a let down. The Adam Lind trade didn't really bring any interesting talent back--though that could change in a few years as the three pitchers continue to develop. The Rule 5 Draft was this morning and they took a 26 year old 2B/3B that had some interesting numbers in AA--after being demoted there--and a RHP with a huge fastball and even bigger command issues. So it's not exactly a huge bar to leap over for the acquisition of 3B Garin Gecchini to be the biggest news out of this week.
Red Sox traded Garin Cecchini to the Brewers for cash considerations— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) December 10, 2015
But it is the biggest Brewers news story of the week. In acquiring Garin Cecchini from the Red Sox the Brewers have filled one of their biggest needs: Third base. The Red Sox DFA'd Cecchini last week. This comes off a putrid AAA season that saw him hit 213/286/296. I know what (some of) you are thinking, "Great, another team's trash..." But he's more than that.
As a prospect he got plus grades on his hit tool. He's just a year removed from hitting a respectable 263/341/371 in AAA. He did a bit better than that with a limited call-up to Boston, but it was just 36 plate appearances so it's not really a meaningful sample size by any stretch. Last season the Red Sox AAA coaching staff tried readjusting his swing mechanics. I can't say for sure it's the cause for his struggles, but I do think it's possible he can be fixed.
If he can get back to his plus hitting ways the Brewers could very well have found their short and long term solution at third base. He's probably never going to be a plus defender, but he could be average there. He's a below average runner and he doesn't have much game power to speak of. Still I think there's a chance he could be a 2-3 win third baseman should the hit tool come around.
The Brewers will retain control over Garin Cecchini for the next six seasons. I believe he still has at least one minor league option remaining as well. So they'll have a lot of flexibility with him. If they think he'll benefit from more development time in AAA it's an option. He'll be 25 years old next year so it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. I expect them to start the season with him on the MLB roster though.
I'm quite happy about this. I've had my eye on Cecchini for a long time. He didn't seem to have a place with the Red Sox after the Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez signings with Xander Bogaerts also on the team. I've tried to come up with trade scenarios that made sense. And now the Brewers got him basically for free. I have no real idea if they'll be able to "fix" him or help him develop his bat. But it's well worth the shot since they're rebuilding and have no other 3B option closer than 5-6 years away.