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BCB Mailbag 1: Regime Changes, Trade Candidates, and Pokemon Go

Remember to leave questions for next week’s edition!

Cincinnati Reds v Milwaukee Brewers Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Happy Friday, everyone! I hope you all survived the great internet outage of 2016. Let’s jump right in with some questions:

icelandreliant asks:

How likely do you think it is that Scooter Gennett gets traded in the offseason?

I love Scooter, but it just doesn’t seem like we really need him either now or in the future. He’s so limited defensively and while he’s OK at the plate, he’s nothing special. I don’t expect much in a trade, but it seems like he is kind of just in the way

Scooter is a logical trade candidate in my opinion. He’s arbitration eligible this winter so his price will be going up and he is limited to second base only. Craig Counsell and David Stearns have both emphasized how important defensive versatility is to the organization, and Scooter just doesn’t fit that mold.

It’s a shame, too, because I like Scooter. He had a pretty solid bounce back campaign after struggling last year and is about a league-average starting second baseman. Craig Counsell noted that he improved defensively, and I agree; both with my not-so-trained eye test as well as a 4.9 Fielding Runs Above Average mark according to Baseball Prospectus. He finally showed some semblance of an idea of what to do against left-handed pitching. He took a few more walks than in the past and showed a bit more pop. The second base position was weirdly good at the plate league-wide this year (average 101 wRC+ was the highest total in the Divisional Era) but a second baseman who can be counted on to put up a 90-100 wRC+ with double digit home runs and decent defense should have some value on the trade market.

nullact asks:

Arbitration changes the discussion of a player's worth

How many of the guys in arbitration are going to be seen as expendable/tradeable because their cost is going up?

No one on the club is going to draw a prohibitive salary through arbitration, and payroll isn’t really a concern right now. Chris Carter figures to get the biggest bump according to the MLBTR projections after his 41 home run, 94 RBI season (arbitration is big on that stuff). The Brewers don’t really have another option at first base and the club has already intimated that they’ll likely retain him.

I wouldn’t be surprised, however, to see any of Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Martin Maldonado, Chase Anderson, or Scooter not back next season simply due to other options available on the roster at their positions. Anderson or Gennett in particular may be able to fetch something worthwhile on the trade market.

drezdn asks:

Why is Aaron Rodgers struggling so much this year?

In Pokemon Go, which Pokemon is best to take on walks?

Aaron Rodgers is struggling because Brett Favre bullied him when he was a rookie. (Also, I don’t like Brett Favre).

I’m not a Pokemon Go player, but I did see this book yesterday at the Walgreens in New Berlin so I guess I’d recommend exploring that avenue.

great198 asks:

Would you revisit the Braun trade with the Dodgers with Puig still as the centerpiece?

Or would you insist on a younger player (preferably a pitcher) as the main piece like Julio Urias or Jose De Leon?

Every player has his price, of course, but me personally, I’m not motivated to move Braun at all. Let’s put him in the context of the 20-80 scouting scale, with my own rough grades:

Hit: 60/65
Power: 60
Speed: 55
Arm: 50
Field: 50
Overall: 65

As I explored last week for BP Milwaukee, there are maybe a handful of players currently in the entire minor leagues, hitters or pitchers, that are good bets to match the type of production Braun is capable of providing. Yeah, he’s going to be 33, but he’s an elite hitter (who has been healthy for consecutive seasons now) and may not follow the typical aging curve. If he were a free agent this winter, I’d bet he would do better than the four years and $76 mil he is owed. I think there’s a solid chance Braun can be a part of the next contending Brewers’ team.

The National League was low-key terrible this year (6 winning teams out of 15) so even though the Cubs will probably win the division again next year, I wouldn’t necessarily say that a potential playoff birth is absolutely unattainable next year. A long-shot, sure, but if breakout guys like Villar, Broxton, Guerra, Davies, etc prove to be able to sustain league average or better production for their respective positions, with a few breaks it’s not too hard to squint and see an 80+ win club in 2017. And that’s without adding potential reinforcements like Brinson, Hader, Woodruff, Phillips, Ortiz, etc.

From Twitter:

I already discussed Gennett, but I honestly wouldn’t be too surprised to see some interest in Garza this winter. There is going to be a significant lack of pitching available on the free agent market. Garza wasn’t actually that bad this season, and you could do worse for a fifth starter on a one year, $12 mil deal (potentially 2/$17 mil if the mutual option is exercised) that the Brewers would surely be willing to kick some in some money to help cover. He’s not going to bring much value back, but he’s tradable.

Phillips had a bit of a tough year statistically, but he was young for the Southern League and showed some pretty legitimate power and plate discipline (13% BB rate). As his profile looks right now, I like him for a ~.250 batting average, ~18+ home runs, double digit steals, and enough walks to make a decent OBP. His real value should come on defense, whether it’s in center field or right. He might have the best outfield arm in the minor leagues.


Hyatt asks:

Let's say you've been away from the site for a couple years for various reasons

What can one expect from the new regime?

I’ll continue to ensure that there is consistent, top-notch content, for one. In fact, I am planning on hiring another writer here pretty soon. Otherwise honestly, I’ve kind of been running the site for awhile now so things will probably continue as they have been over the summer. I’m not very clever or funny but I do like writing about prospects and doing statistical analysis, so I’ll probably keep writing stuff about that and make sure that there is a diverse staff that together will cover all aspects of Brewers baseball.

I’m open to any suggestions. I’m all for spirited discussions in the comments, and I generally stay out of things down there. Don’t curse excessively, don’t be an obvious troll, and don’t target/harass/personally denigrate other users and we shouldn’t have any issues.

This was fun! Well, for me at least. I guess I can’t vouch for you the reader. Thank you for all the feedback and questions; I’m sorry if I didn’t answer yours, I tried to do a lot of them at least.

Be sure to leave your questions in the comments section here or on Facebook/Twitter and let’s plan on doing this again next week.

Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs