Losing streaks happen, but the Brewers' most recent one has happened to come at a bad time.
Despite that, the team is still technically tied for first (the best kind of tied for first) and are still within shouting distance of the NL Wildcard with a week to go before the MLB Trade Deadline.
While the mood has shifted in the past seven days, ESPN's Jerry Crasnick says the front office is still looking to make improvements for this year and beyond:
The Brewers, who are trying desperately to turn things around, are actively exploring both starter and relief options. As ESPN's Buster Olney reported, they've also talked to Detroit about second baseman Ian Kinsler. But this appears to be more a case of Detroit trying to link Kinsler with reliever Justin Wilson and move a veteran salary. The Brewers would love to have Kinsler, but pitching is their main priority at the moment. Kinsler has a $10 million club option for 2018 with a $5 million buyout. If the Brewers were to assume that financial obligation, it could lessen the player package Detroit receives for Wilson.
The update here seems to be that it's the Tigers bringing up the possibility of including Kinsler, not necessarily the Brewers asking for him. As Kyle mentioned when the rumor first came out, though, it's one that makes quite a bit of sense. While Kinsler's remaining contract is being portrayed as some massive commitment, the Brewers likely could easily pay the entirety of it without much problem, considering Ryan Braun will be the only Brewer making more than $5 million next year. Still, if the Brewers do try to include Kinsler in a deal for Justin Wilson, it's smart for them to use Kinsler's contract as leverage for not giving up a ton.
The Brewers' recent slide has been tough to watch, but keeping an eye on the big picture, they're still in a position to make a legitimate run at the playoffs in the next couple months. Yes, they've lost 7 of their last 10. They also won 7 of 9 as little as two weeks ago with the same group of players. They play the Cubs this weekend -- a team they beat 11-2 as part of that 7-2 start to the month -- giving them a chance to reclaim the division lead for themselves. And even if the Cubs never lose again, the Brewers are only 4.5 games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks in the wildcard race with no other teams to leapfrog and plenty of time to chip away at the deficit.
Crasnick later tweeted that “desperation” may not be the most accurate way to describe the Brewers’ mentality.
I mis-characterized #Brewers as "desperate'' to make a trade. But they're trying hard. Big issue is, balancing present vs. the future.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 24, 2017
That came after GM David Stearns had this to say about where his mind is at right now:
#Brewers GM David Stearns on if tough week changes trade talks: "We try not to get wrapped up in emotion of the day-to-day wins or losses."— Tom (@Haudricourt) July 24, 2017
More Stearns: "We know this is going to be a competitive division down to the end. We think we’re good enough to be one of teams involved."— Tom (@Haudricourt) July 24, 2017