As trade options for the Brewers appear to be drying up in a hurry — with both Asdrubal Cabrera and Eduardo Escobar getting traded within hours of each other — it looks like the general manager David Stearns may be making progress on a potentially significant deal.
After Ken Rosenthal reported earlier in the day the Brewers were possibly working with the Mets on a deal for Cabrera and pitcher Zack Wheeler, it looks Stearns may be trying a similar idea with Baltimore.
#Brewers engaged in serious discussions with the #Orioles, sources tell The Athletic. Unclear if MIL’s focus is Schoop, Gausman or a package including both.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 27, 2018
Jonathan Schoop and Kevin Gausman would address two of the Brewers’ biggest perceived needs at second base and the rotation.
Schoop’s overall line for the season isn’t pretty — .240/.271/.435 — but he was an All-Star last year when he hit 32 home runs, and has already hit 15 this year. Despite the ugly slash line, he’s been hot lately, homering in his last 4 games and 5 of his last 6. He’s hitting .369 with an OPS of 1.067 in July, although plate discipline is still a bit of a problem — he hasn’t taken a walk all month.
Gausman is the kind of starting pitcher Stearns has been interested in on the trade market over the past couple seasons: one with multiple years of team control remaining.
He’d likely be more of the “dependable starter” variety rather than a frontline option, though. He’s made 20 starts for the Orioles this year, with a 4.54 ERA in 117 innings. His DRA is a much more appealing 4.22, though, and like we mentioned in the post about the Wheeler rumors, that would still rank highly in the Brewers’ current rotation. Only Freddy Peralta has a DRA under 4 right now, and Gausman’s mark would beat out Jhoulys Chacin’s 4.64 for second-best on the team. Lately, though, some have started to wonder if Gausman would be a candidate to break out once leaving Baltimore — similar to what Jake Arrieta did, although maybe not quite to that level.
Gausman would be under team control through the 2020 season, while Schoop would be under control through next year.
The fact that the Orioles likely already have the Brewers’ minor league system heavily scouted would likely help these negotiations move on a little quicker than they normally would, since Baltimore likely already has a sense of who they like among the Brewers’ prospects.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference and Baseball Prospectus