At the waiver trade deadline this season, rumors were flying around that a team had claimed outfielder Yasiel Puig from the Los Angeles Dodgers. The deadline passed and no deal was made, but it came out shortly after that the Brewers were the team that had been awarded the claim for Puig. Not only that, but significant discussions took place, and they also involved Ryan Braun as well.
While those discussions didn’t lead to a trade, they may not be done completely yet. Today, Bob Nightengale of USA Today wrote up a story on Braun, where he says that it is “likely” that Braun will be traded to the Dodgers this offseason. The trade almost went through on August 31, with Braun remaining in the clubhouse for word of trade, and almost all of the particulars ironed out. The Brewers would take on Puig and Brandon McCarthy, and would receive some prospects as well. The prospect return was the last detail to be ironed out, but couldn’t be figured out before the deadline passed.
While the Dodgers are a likely spot, Nightengale also mentions other teams that may try to re-enter negotiations with the Brewers as well. Both the Giants and Angels are mentioned as candidates, as both are not on Braun’s no-trade list. Also, Nightengale mentions that the Braves attempted to trade for Braun at the trade deadline, but Braun exercised his no-trade clause to prevent that one from happening.
Though a trade doesn’t have to happen during the offseason, it’s seen as a soft deadline because of Braun’s 10/5 rights. At the end of May, when Braun accumulates 10 years of service time, Braun will gain full no-trade rights, which will complicate any trade the Brewers try to make involving him. Though Braun could waive those for a situation he likes, it’s another factor that has to be worked into negotiations, and one that could further complicate any deal that the Brewers try to make in the future.
Ryan Braun remains as one of the few players remaining from the Brewers’ postseason runs in 2008 and 2011. While he still has plenty left that he could provide for the Brewers, his best value at this point may come in a trade. If these negotiations are as close as reported, the chances of Braun being traded this offseason are very high. We will have to wait and see what happens in the offseason, but there’s a strong chance that Braun is playing out his final days with the Brewers now.