At long last, the final 5 of the Brewer trade value countdown. Again, we're limited to players who have made an appearance for the Brewers this season.
Previous rankings reproduced in full here, so you can yell at me in the comments:
20. Michael Blazek
19. Matt Garza
18. Corey Knebel
17. Kyle Lohse
16. Tyler Thornburg
15. Gerardo Parra
14. Aramis Ramirez
13. Adam Lind
12. Francisco Rodriguez
11. Scooter Gennett
10. Luis Sardinas
9. Ryan Braun
8. Mike Fiers
7. Khris Davis
6. Will Smith
5. Jean Segura
Team control: Through 2018
Though there were some early indications of a Segura revival back toward 2013 hitting levels, it keeps looking like the first half of that season was the real outlier for him. Still, he's clearly capable of more, and shortstops in general are not very good. A young, pretty cheap one who can hold his own defensively and has some upside at the plate has a lot of value.
Trade framework: A fringe contending team gets very desperate for a shortstop and offers the Brewers a top-50 or two top-100 prospects or something ridiculous like that.
Should Brewers Trade?: It's easy to see Segura increasing his value by at the very least showing that last year's poor hitting performance was an anomaly. Shortstop is now a strong position in the Brewer farm system so he might get pushed in the next year or so, but there's no reason to rush it.
4. Jimmy Nelson
Team control: Through 2020
Nelson hasn't been dominant enough in his short time in the majors so far (after graduating from the farm system last year as the number 1 prospect) to shoot up to the top of this list, but he hasn't really hurt his stock either. Cost-controlled top prospect starters who have already made the majors don't get moved too often.
Trade framework: Nah.
Should Brewers Trade?: No. This would not be a case of selling high, and Nelson can be a part of the next contending team.
3. Wily Peralta
Team control: Through 2018
Wily has 2 average-ish big league seasons under his belt, and there were good reasons to think he was going to break out this year. Then he wasn't great in his first 9 starts, and hit the DL. But he throws so hard and had been so durable, a lot of teams would like to add him to their rotation.
Trade framework: it would take a truly extraordinary offer to get him from the Brewers because his value is probably at a lower point than it should be right now. Teams in the market for a starter are going to be looking for an ace or a cheap placeholder. Peralta isn't either.
Should Brewers Trade?: No, he's a building block guy.
2. Carlos Gomez
Team control: Through 2016
After 2 years in MVP contention, Gomez hasn't quite looked the same so far this year in this crapfest of a season. But he's still the best defensive centerfielder in baseball, and not a lot of guys in that conversation for that title can hit at all.
Trade framework: Gomez is the first guy on this list who could legitimately bring in a big package of impact prospects.
Should Brewers trade?: Yes. The clock is ticking; he'll still have value in a trade this offseason but why wait if the offer is there? The Brewers aren't going anywhere fast with him before his contract is up at the end of 2016, and he'll be in line for about $20 million a year after that.
1. Jonathan Lucroy
Team control: Through 2017
Most everything about Gomez also applies to Lucroy, except that he's a bit cheaper and controlled for an extra year. Before the year, Fangraphs ranked him 13th in Trade Value in all of MLB. Franchise players like Lucroy rarely end up on the market for a lot of reasons. But there's another interesting point made in this Fangraphs post by Dave Cameron: every contending team, regardless of budget, could potentially be in the running for Lucroy-- he's an established star, inexpensive, and controlled for 2 and a half more years. He's not a rental and he's not prohibitively expensive.
Trade framework: The biggest prospect package any of us have ever seen.
Should Brewers Trade?: It's incredibly tough to see them actually doing it because it would signal to the fans a total rebuild and giving up on contention for the foreseeable future. In addition, they could stick it out and see how next year goes, and still be in a position to get something of value for him in the offseason after 2016 if it looks like 2017 will be another dud. But it is a unique opportunity to really reload the farm system and speed up the turnaround if the right buyer comes along. It's a cop-out, but the right answer here is that it depends. Some player's on the list should be auctioned off to the highest bidder regardless of what happens. Lucroy's not one of them.