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Milwaukee Brewers to prioritize corner infield and bullpen help at trade deadline, per report

With the paltry production from the cast of characters playing first and third, Milwaukee might look to upgrade

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee Brewers Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Brewers were hot, and now they are not. However, when things were going well, a lot of credit went to the acquisition via trade for Willy Adames from Tampa. At the time of the trade, the Brewers were in a rut, going 4-13 in the seventeen games prior to acquiring Adames.

Then the Brewers went on a run that saw them go 16-4 and hold on to a tie for first in the N.L. Central with the Chicago Cubs. In the five games since, the Brewers have lost every one, and Adames is just 3 for 16 over those five games. Even with the five losses in a row, the Brewers sit just a game back of the Cubs for first.

The Milwaukee Brewers are in the hunt for the N.L. Central and the playoffs at this point in the season. The trade for Adames put a spark into the Brewers’ offense that just was not there prior to his arrival. Hopefully he continues to produce, but might the Brewers’ front office be looking to add more to the team in the coming month or so.

According to Fansided writer Robert Murray, the Brewers do intend to “upgrade their corner-infield offense.” When Travis Shaw went down, David Stearns and Company likely felt a greater need to do this. The obvious answers for the Brewers’ on the corners of the infield exist in-house with Luis Urias and Keston Hiura.

After an abysmal start to the season, Urias has hit much better of late. Since May 21, Urias is slashing .268/.368/.500 while posting a 139 wRC+. If he is able to continue at this level of performance, Urias becomes the obvious answer at third base. Hiura is another issue.

After a fantastic start to his career in 2019, Keston Hiura has been an awful major league player since 2020. A wRC+ in 2020 of 87 and 26 in 2021 will not get it done for what was thought to be a further hitting savant. Add to the subpar defense at both second base and first base and it is no wonder that he has spent significant time in AAA Nashville. On a positive note, he is destroying AAA pitching.

For those of you that think Daniel Vogelbach is an answer at first, he is not hitting well enough to justify it. While being an outstanding offensive presence for Milwaukee in 2020, Vogelbach is just a league average hitter and slugging a paltry for .396 on the season. If he were a catcher or shortstop, those numbers would work. They do not work for a first baseman. His career numbers are likely a better indicator of his future performance than his few games with the Brewers in 2020 unfortunately.

If Hiura and Vogelbach are not to be the answer for the rest of 2021, expect Milwaukee to prioritize someone else to play first base. Possible acquisition targets include players that come from teams that will be out of contention by the trade deadline on July 30, or possibly earlier. Some that come to mind include:

  • C.J. Cron - .260/.361/.452
  • Asdrubal Cabrera - .252/.355/.427
  • Colin Moran - .292/.354/.446 (controlled through 2024)
  • Ryan Zimmerman - .279/.307/.533
  • Trey Mancini - .273/.353/.474
  • Carlos Santana - .246/.370/.403
  • Jonathan Schoop - .270/.322/.456
  • Jesus Aguliar - .268/.331/.476

or can Nelson Cruz play first?: .300/.374/.551

or maybe this guy:

Baseball statistics courtesy of Fangraphs and Baseball Reference