It is no secret that the Milwaukee Brewers were woeful offensively in 2020. With a .702 team OPS, they hit near the bottom of the league. As a result, it is not surprising to hear reports that the Brewers are seeking upgrades on offense. According to Robert Murray at Fansided, Milwaukee is calling other teams with a focus on acquiring hitting talent.
To get a hitter(s) of significance, Brewers’ brass is communicating a willingness to deal from their surplus of pitching. The Brewers have several pitchers that other teams would be clamoring to acquire, but one or more losses from this group would be painful indeed.
Burnes emerged after a dreadful 2019 to become one of the best starting pitchers in all of baseball in 2020. Evidently Milwaukee was getting tons of calls on Burnes during the season.
Brewers are getting tons of calls on hard-throwing RHP Corbin Burnes but have little inclination to trade him. More likely to possibly go: Brett Anderson and David Phelps, whose value is enhanced by having a contract with a team option for 2021— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) August 30, 2020
Would David Stearns actually consider including Burnes in a trade? There is potential for ace stuff, and the 26 year old is not a free agent until 2025. The haul for Burnes would and should be immense if the Brewers were to trade him.
Woodruff has been good to really good for the past three seasons. Unlike Burnes, he has a long term track record of effectiveness. Woodruff is 27 and though he is arb-eligible for the first time this winter as a Super 2, he is not a free agent until 2025. The amount of talent coming back for Woodruff would likely only be eclipsed if Stearns were to put Christian Yelich on the trading block and even then, maybe not. Starting pitchers of Woodruff’s ilk command unreasonable commitment and dollars. Teams would give up a lot to get this controllable and cost-reasonable asset.
The potential that Freddy Peralta possesses is something that has teased Brewer Nation for some time now. While not yet realizing that potential, he has been pretty good, especially in 2020. He is also just 24 years old and controllable until 2027 after his owner-friendly contract extension. Sometimes the dream of would could be is as enticing as what actually is.
Houser was a dominant presence in the Brewers’ bullpen in 2019. He was moved to the starting rotation in that same year and showed promise. While still showing promise in 2020, the season did not go as well as he would have liked pitching to a 5.30 ERA. The 27 year old is controllable until 2025.
Williams took major league baseball by storm in 2020. His “airbender” changeup had hitters swinging and missing at a phenomenal rate. Williams is 26 and controllable until 2026. After winning the National League Rookie of the Year for 2020, Williams might be the hottest commodity on this board.
Is there a player that gets more trade talk than Josh Hader? I certainly add mightily to that talk, but there isn’t a national writer that doesn’t bring his name up during trade time. The amount he would get back for the Brewers has been debated over and over again. He would at least get back a nice return. Word is that Stearns and Company “intend to listen” on Hader. Has a more unsurprising phrase ever been uttered?
There are a plethora of young pitchers in the Brewers organization that other teams would value highly. Drew Rasmussen and Justin Topa demonstrated what they are capable of just this past season. Ethan Small, Aaron Ashby, Antoine Kelly, and Zack Brown could be in the conversation as well. To move the needle on a elite level bat, however, at least one of the names listed above would have to be part of a trade. That would be a difficult pill to swallow, but is it a necessary one?
Baseball statistics courtesy of Fangraphs