Considering the Brewers have two healthy starting pitchers and three TBD slots to fill starting tomorrow night in Oakland, this may not come as a surprise, but Robert Murray of The Athletic is reporting that the Brewers hope to complete more than one trade before Wednesday’s deadline.
The Brewers are aggressively exploring upgrades in the rotation and bullpen. They have talked to many teams, discussing a wide-variety of scenarios. They are hopeful of completing at least a couple trades before the July 31 deadline. https://t.co/YE7X2JSCQr— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) July 29, 2019
The Brewers are hopeful of acquiring one, if not two starting pitchers, before the trade deadline. But the search for upgrades isn’t just for starters. The team has been active in trade talks for relievers, sources said, with one executive that has talked to the Brewers saying they are “looking for lots of pitching, both starting and relieving.”
Murray lists the usual trade targets the Brewers have rumored to be interested in -- Mike Minor, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Boyd, and Robbie Ray -- but also provides a couple new names in Toronto’s Aaron Sanchez and Baltimore’s Dylan Bundy.
(In a semi-related sidenote, Murray confirms that the Brewers tried to trade for Mike Minor in the offseason, and were also pursuing Dallas Keuchel before he signed with Atlanta)
Both Sanchez and Bundy would be buy-low candidates as former top prospects with multiple years of team control remaining. Sanchez has a 6.07 ERA, giving up an AL-leading 76 earned runs in 23 starts. He’s struck out 99 batters in 112.2 innings but has also walked 59, many of which have come around to haunt him.
Similarly, Bundy has a 5.24 ERA in 20 starts. He’s struck out 105 batters in 103 innings and his walks have been a little more under control, with 37 free passes to this point. Bundy’s problem, like so many other pitchers this year, has been with the home run ball, giving up 23.
Sanchez is under team control through 2020, Bundy is under team control through 2021.
Murray says the Brewers have also explored trying to kill two birds with one stone, trying to acquire a starter and a reliever in the same deal. Back when the Giants were looking like sellers, that could’ve included getting creative for Madison Bumgarner and Will Smith. Now that San Francisco may be chasing a wildcard berth, though, perhaps a more realistic move would be dealing with Toronto for something like Sanchez and Giles, both of whom would also be able to contribute next year while patching holes in the current playoff chase. A Bundy/Mychal Givens package from Baltimore would also accomplish similar, but with an extra year of control.
There’s been some doubt about the Brewers’ ability to acquire meaningful pieces at the deadline considering the low standing of their farm system, but those worries may be waning considering the iffy-at-best package Toronto got from the New York Mets in exchange for Marcus Stroman.
Murray says Mauricio Dubon has drawn “significant interest,” with Trent Grisham, Brice Turang and Corey Ray also being mentioned. The rumor floated over the weekend of the Brewers also considering trading Mike Moustakas or Yasmani Grandal also continues, even though it’s “not the Brewers’ preference,” according to Murray.
It’s shaping up to be a very interesting next 72 hours, to say the least.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference