The Milwaukee Brewers needed some offensive help and depth on the infield dirt, and they found that yesterday by trading for Eduardo Escobar of the Diamondbacks. But don’t expect the Brewers to be done before tomorrow’s trading deadline. According to reports, the attention of David Stearns, Matt Arnold, and the rest of Milwaukee’s front office has turned to finding an upgrade in the bullpen.
In a broad sense, the Brewers have gotten strong production from their relief corps this year. The club collectively ranks #8 across all of MLB with a 3.64 ERA from their bullpen arms, but they are tied for 18th with a 4.31 FIP from the group and 16th with a cumulative 1.6 fWAR (for what it’s worth, the group has only covered 366.0 innings this year, 16th-most in the league).
Josh Hader has been his typically dominant self (outside of his most recent outing), and while Devin Williams, Brad Boxberger, and Brent Suter all have solid surface-level stats, each of them has been prone to inconsistent stretches this season and are all outpacing their FIPs by quite a bit. Hunter Strickland, Miguel Sanchez, Jandel Gustave, and especially Jake Cousins have looked good since joining the team in-season, but veterans Strickland and Gustave don’t have the most enticing recent track records and Sanchez and Cousins are both rookies. This group would benefit from adding a proven commodity to join the setup corps ahead of the closer Hader.
As Mark Feinsand indicated in his tweet, there should be a plurality of good arms available. The Brewers haven’t been linked to one of them specifically, but it is quite likely that Slingin’ Stearns and company are involved in conversations regarding most or all of the pitchers who are available. Fans in the Cream City should have learned by now to expect the unexpected with this front office, and it seems like almost a certainty that there will be a new face in the bullpen within the next couple of days.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference and Fangraphs