The Brewers general manager made an appearance on MLB Network's show High Heat with Chris Russo. I suffered through it so you didn't have to! You're welcome. And to be honest you didn't really miss much. Half of the interview was general stuff about David Stearns getting hired and what that was like. The second half was more relevant to the Winter Meetings.
Russo brought up Adam Lind and Jonathan Lucroy. Most of the major headlines are going to revolve around those two. It makes sense as Lind is the most likely to get traded and Lucroy is the Brewers biggest trade asset. However David Stearns was very guarded. That too makes sense. You never want to tip your hand. He essentially just said the Brewers are getting a lot of interest on a number of their players and left it at that. Though there was one thing he said that I found interesting.
Russo had mentioned the Brewers trade of Francisco Rodriguez, but only in passing as an example of one of the trades the Brewers already made. So it was without prompting that Stearns offered up this quote:
"We think that our bullpen is a strength and an area from which we could deal."
I find that quite intriguing. Now obviously that doesn't mean they will trade one of their relievers. But I think it's interesting that Stearns made a point of saying this after not specifically being asked if they would be willing to trade a reliever. I might be reading into it too much, but I think a trade of a reliever in this market just makes tons of sense.
We've covered the possibility on BCB a couple of times. I wrote about the Brewers Trio of Relievers that could have trade value. And earlier today I wrote about the state of the relief market. In short, there aren't very many good relievers available. And the ones that are available, are only available in trade. The free agent market is devoid of anything but middle relievers and lefty specialists.
This puts the Brewers in a good position to maximize the value of their relievers. I think Will Smith especially could be highly sought after. His 2015 K% was comfortably in elite territory. And make no mistake his slider is a legit plus to plus-plus pitch. He's not a LOOGY as I've seen some misguided fans suggest. In fact he might be one of the better relievers in all of baseball. With 4 years left on his contract he could fetch a pretty good trade return.
You can watch the interview on Brewers.com now: