Most of the trade rumors we've seen bring up the Brewers to this point have focused on the starting pitching market, but as Kyle noted earlier today, it looks like David Stearns is also checking in on a number of relievers in hopes of shoring up the bullpen.
According to Ken Rosenthal, that could include Philadelphia Phillies All-Star Pat Neshek.
Neshek is 36 years old but is in the middle of one of the best seasons of his long and effective career. Through 40 games, his ERA is a minuscule 1.21. With a FIP of 2.09, it's not all luck, either.
His submarine delivery has helped him generate 40 strikeouts in 37.1 innings so far this year, but the big change in his performance has been his control. After being prone to walks over the past couple seasons, he's found more consistency this year and has walked just 5 batters the entire season. The Brewers saw him twice this past weekend and failed to get a runner on base against him, striking out 4 times in 2 innings, with him striking out the side in the 7th inning on Saturday.
Neshek is making $6.5 million this year and is a free agent at the end of the year. Given his status as a rental and his age, he likely would command less in a trade than Brad Hand, who the Padres are reportedly asking an arm and a leg for.
As Kyle noted in his post on the Brewers' interest in Miami's David Phelps, any reliever that's acquired would likely replace Rob Scahill or Tyler Webb in the current bullpen. Someone like Neshek could allow Craig Counsell to use Jacob Barnes or others earlier in games, too, rather than saving them for the 8th inning.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference