It doesn’t get as much fanfare as the “first” trade deadline, but today is still a fairly important date on the baseball calendar. In order to be eligible for a team’s postseason roster, a player has to be on the 40-man roster (or 60-day DL or bereavement list, if we want to get into exceptions to the rule) by midnight Eastern Time/11 p.m. Central Time tonight.
While waiver trades can still happen through September, that turns today into a de facto second trade deadline for postseason contenders.
The Brewers have managed to tread water since the first deadline at the end of July and still hold a two-game lead on a wildcard spot. But that doesn’t mean general manager David Stearns is stopping his pursuit of improvements along the edges of the roster.
Just like a month ago, it looks like Stearns’ cell phone is getting a workout today, at least according to Ken Rosenthal.
To the #Brewers fans howling in my mentions: “A number of fronts” includes pitching… https://t.co/TWfWA1wF2U— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 31, 2018
Curtis Granderson is the only player mentioned by name, but as Rosenthal notes, “a number of fronts” means, well, a number of fronts, not just that specific player or position. Reading comprehension on Twitter can be a struggle at times.
As far as Granderson goes, yes, he’s still in the league and actually a decent left-handed pinch-hitting option if he’s facing a righty. He’s hit .250/.345/.443 with 11 home runs and 19 doubles in 280 at-bats against right-handers this year, and is also a hot bat right now, hitting .306/.390/.500 in the past four weeks. It’s also worth remembering that David Stearns’ reported interest in Granderson actually goes back to last year’s trade deadline, when he was still with the Mets.
Eric Thames currently fills a similar role for the Brewers, but isn’t hitting righties as well or getting on base as much as Granderson, although he has hit for more power with a .222/.304/.498 line against them. Thames has also struggled mightily as his playing time has been drastically cut in the second half, going just 3-for-35 with 22 strikeouts and only 2 walks in the last four weeks.
There are still a number of pitchers who could conceivably be traded today, too. None of them are particularly exciting (or even seem to be good at pitching), but as Kyle noted after Wade Miley’s start yesterday in Cincinnati, maybe we should learn to just trust whatever scraps Stearns picks up off the heap, whether it’s today or in the future.
Wade Miley has taught me that when this front office acquires any pitcher, we should automatically pay attention. The scouting/analytics departments, in tandem with DJ and the coaching staff, have struck gold with too many seemingly random guys for it to be coincidental. https://t.co/C5xHhgCgsH— Kyle L. (@brewerfan28) August 30, 2018
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference
Brewers are talking about Gio Gonzalez and Curtis Granderson, among others. @Ken_Rosenthal mentioned. Both cleared. Neither having best year but would provide veteran leadership. Gio may be best SP out there, too.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) August 31, 2018
Jon Heyman reaffirms Milwaukee’s interest in Curtis Granderson and adds Gio Gonzalez to the mix. Gonzalez, 33 next month, has had a nice career but he’s been supbar this season. He’s logged 145.2 innings with a 4.57 ERA while recording his lowest strikeout rate (7.67 K/9) since 2010 and his highest walk rate (4.32 BB/9) since 2009. He has effectively limited hard contact this season (30.6%), however, and his .319 BABIP is 24 points higher than his career average of .295 so there may be some bad luck involved in Gio’s less than stellar run prevention numbers. He’s owed the remainder of a $12 mil salary under the deal he signed with the Nationals back in 2012 and he in his final season before reaching free agency.